Arsenal and Chelsea will be facing off next Wednesday in the Europa League final, and there is a lot at stake for the Gunners.
It is the last chance saloon for the North Londoners as far as playing Champions League football next season goes, and manager Unai Emery and his players are expected to give their all.
Should goalkeeper Petr Cech play, it will be his last game as a professional, but after reports emerged during the week that he will be returning to Chelsea in a sporting director role, there have been calls for Emery to play Bernd Leno instead given the 37-year-old’s affiliation with the Blues.
However, former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho doesn’t believe Cech will be distracted should he play, and the Portuguese feels he will want to give his best and bow out a winner.
“It’s Petr Cech’s last football match, I think it’s the match that he would choose if he could choose a match to retire, I think this would be the match,” the erstwhile Manchester United boss told Sky Sports.
“And I’m pretty sure that before he goes back home (Chelsea), I think of course he will want to do it in a winning way because he’s a winner and has won so many things.”
Mourinho has also commented on Arsenal’s chances of winning the Europa League, and while he believes that they are under more pressure compared to Chelsea, he is expecting them to give their all given what is at stake.
“More pressure of course for Arsenal because they play for the Champions League spot next season, they play for many millions, they play for their pride, for the success of their season, so more pressure on the Arsenal side.”
The Gunners’ transfer budget will be given a huge boost should they win the game due to the winners’ and Champions League money, and its result will also determine the quality of players they will attract this summer, considering that a lot of top players will reject them if they end up playing in the Europa League next term.