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FA Cup 2019-20 final: Arsenal-Chelsea combined XI

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It's Arsenal vs Chelsea again in the FA Cup final.
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 01 Aug 2020, 14:37 IST
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It's a London derby in the FA Cup final again as Arsenal and Chelsea lock horns in the Wembley showpiece on Saturday.

In a rematch of the 2017 final, both teams are coming off the back of unconvincing league campaigns. The Blues sneaked into the top-four on the final day, whereas the Gunners could only muster an eighth-place finish.

However, both teams have done well to get to the FA Cup title match, seeing off Manchester United and holders Manchester City respectively in the semifinals.

With a Champions League slot secured, winning the FA Cup would be a perfect end to Frank Lampard's first season in charge of Chelsea. A win for Arsenal, on the other hand, would take the sting out of the wounds sustained by the Gunners during the course of a horrendous last ten months.

Ahead of the mouth-watering clash, let's see how the London giants line up in a combined XI:

A combined Arsenal-Chelsea XI:

Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martinez (Arsenal)

Emiliano Martinez has stepped up to the plate in the absence of Leno.
Emiliano Martinez has stepped up to the plate in the absence of Leno.

This one's a no-brainer given Kepa Arrizabalaga's erroneous displays and Willy Caballero's minimal playing time.

Emiliano Martinez has successfully taken his chances with aplomb at Arsenal since replacing the injured Bernd Leno. He has also started every FA Cup game this season for Arsenal, keeping three clean sheets and conceding just twice in five games.

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Right-back: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

The skipper has led by an example from the back.
The skipper has led by an example from the back.

Reece James is a promising talent, but Cesar Azpilicueta's wealth of experience and big-game pedigree makes him indispensable for the FA Cup showpiece.

The fact that he's clocked more minutes than any other player from the squad this season underlines the Spaniard's importance to the side. His versatility in playing across various positions in defence has been a valuable asset for Chelsea too.

Centre-back: Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)

Antonio Rudiger has had his ups and downs but remains an important piece of Chelsea
Antonio Rudiger has had his ups and downs but remains an important piece of Chelsea's defensive puzzle.

It's not that Chelsea's defence has been particularly stellar, but the centre-back pairing of Antonio Rudiger and Kurt Zouma is still better than what the Gunners have to make do with - David Luiz and Rob Holding.

Rudiger made a good start to the season, but injuries have curtailed his game time while there's been a significant drop in his level of performance too. In the FA Cup final though, he's got to muster his A-game once again.

Centre-back: Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)

Kurt Zouma has highly matured after his loan spell with Everton last year.
Kurt Zouma has highly matured after his loan spell with Everton last year.

Kurt Zouma improved during his loan spell at Everton last season and has continued in the same vein after returning to Chelsea.

His confidence and composure have been a wonderful counterpoint to Chelsea's sloppy and shambolic defence while he has also looked at ease in the back-three between Rudiger and Azpilicueta.

The Frenchman's aerial prowess from set-piece situations is an asset too.

Left-back: Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)

Keiran Tierney has bounced back from injuries quite emphatically.
Keiran Tierney has bounced back from injuries quite emphatically.

A spate of injuries has meant that Kieran Tierney had to wait until the restart to find decent game-time where he has come up trumps.

His performances improved with each passing game as he got off the mark on the final day of the EPL season. The Scotsman is showing what he's capable of and would be upbeat for the FA Cup final, having also assisted one of Aubameyang's goals against Manchester City in the semis.

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Published 31 Jul 2020, 16:29 IST
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