Europa League Final teams: Chelsea v Arsenal

N’Golo Kante starts in midfield for Chelsea in tonight’s Europa League final.

The Frenchman’s prospects had been rated as 50-50 by Maurizio Sarri yesterday and he has been passed fit to play. Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho join him in midfield.

The defence features Emerson at left-back, while Eden Hazard lines up alongside Olivier Giroud and Pedro in the front three.

The extended bench includes Willian and Gonzalo Higuain. 

For Arsenal, Petr Cech starts in goal in the final game of his career. 

Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta (c), Christensen, David Luiz, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Giroud, Hazard.

Subs: Caballero, Cumming, Zappacosta, Cahill, Alonso, Ampadu, Barkley, McEachran, Gallagher, Willian, Higuain.

Arsenal are expected to line up as follows:

Arsenal (3-4-1-2): Cech; Sokratis, Koscielny (c), Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Subs: Leno, Illiev, Elneny, Lichtsteiner, Iwobi, Mustafi, Welbeck, Jenkinson, Guendouzi, Nketiah, Willock, Saka.

Stats recap

This is Chelsea’s 18th European match against English opposition.

We are now a competition-record 17 games unbeaten in the Europa League, the draws at Vidi and Frankfurt being the only games in that sequence we did not win. Our last defeat in the competition was 2-3 at Rubin Kazan in the 2012/13 quarter-final second leg after we won 3-1 at the Bridge.

The Blues are targeting a club record 15th match unbeaten in Europe that would surpass our current best of 14 set between 2008 and 2010.

Chelsea are the highest scorers in this season’s Europa League (32 goals) and Olivier Giroud is the joint-top scorer in this season’s competition (10, level with Luka Jovic).

Olivier Giroud is the first player ever to score 10 goals in a single European campaign for Chelsea.

Maurizio Sarri is the first Italian to manage in a UEFA Cup/Europa League final since Alberto Malesani in 1999, who won the trophy with Parma that year.

The two previous Italians to manage an English club in a major European final led Chelsea to victory – Gianluca Vialli in the 1998 Cup Winners’ Cup final and Roberto Di Matteo in the 2012 Champions League final.

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