Wednesday night will mark the first all-English Europa League or UEFA Cup final since 1972 – the tournament’s inaugural season – when Tottenham beat Wolves 3-2 in a two-legged affair. This time round it’s an all-London encounter, with Arsenal taking on Chelsea in the distant European reaches of Baku, Azerbaijan.
Sadly, controversy rather than football has dominated the lead-up to the game – but there is still a fascinating tactical battle in front of us. Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0 at the Emirates in the most recent game between the two sides in January, although Chelsea ran out winners at Stamford Bridge way back in August. In that early-season clash, four of the five goals in the home team’s 3-2 win came from wide players far from guaranteed to start in Baku – Pedro, Marcos Alonso, Henrikh Mkhitaryan (who doesn’t even travel to the final for security reasons) and Alex Iwobi – with the other coming from another no-show in Alvaro Morata.