Arsenal and Chelsea go head-to-head in the Heads Up FA Cup Final this weekend, with Wembley Stadium set to stage the all-London affair.
Both clubs have a strong recent history in the competition, Opta have provided us with some interesting quirks ahead of the big game.
- Arsenal are appearing in their 21st FA Cup Final, more than any other side. Indeed, the Gunners have won the competition more often than any other side (13).
- Chelsea are playing in their 14th FA Cup Final, with this their seventh appearance in the showpiece since the new Wembley Stadium re-opened in 2007. The Blues have won seven of their last nine Finals, with both defeats in that time coming against Arsenal.
- This season’s FA Cup Final will be the latest date a Final has been staged in the competition’s history.
- This is the third time Arsenal and Chelsea have faced each other in the Final, with the Gunners winning the previous two (in 2002 and 2017) – no fixture has been played more in the Final (excluding replays).
- Arsenal have triumphed in eight of their last nine FA Cup Final matches, including each of the last six in a row. Only Tottenham (seven between 1901 and 1982) have won more consecutive FA Cup Final appearances.
- Chelsea have won just one of their last 13 FA Cup games against Arsenal (D4 L8), beating them 2-1 in the 2009 semi-final, courtesy of goals from Florent Malouda and a late Didier Drogba winner.
- This will be the third time in the last four seasons that Arsenal will be ending their campaign against Chelsea, winning the 2017 FA Cup Final and losing last season’s Europa League final against the Blues in Baku.
- In all competitions, Chelsea have lost just two of their last ten meetings with Arsenal (W3 D5), with the Blues unbeaten against the Gunners in the Premier League this term (W1 D1).
- Mikel Arteta is to become only the second man to manage Arsenal in an FA Cup Final having also played for the Gunners in one, after George Graham. He could become the first person to win the FA Cup with Arsenal as both a captain and a manager.
- This will be the first FA Cup Final managed by two men who both also played for their teams in an Final since 2012 (Chelsea’s Roberto di Matteo v Liverpool’s Kenny Dalglish). Arteta won with Arsenal in 2014, while Frank Lampard played in five Finals for the Blues, winning four. Indeed, Lampard’s only FA Cup Final defeat as a player was against Arsenal in 2002.
- Frank Lampard will be the first English manager to take charge of Chelsea in a major cup final since Glenn Hoddle in the 1994 FA Cup, a 0-4 defeat against Manchester United. The last English manager to win a major trophy with Chelsea was Dave Sexton (1971 Cup Winner’s Cup).
- In FA Cup Final history, there have been two players play for both clubs in a specific final fixture – Francis Birley played for Oxford University against Wanderers in 1873, and vice versa in 1877, while Jack Reynolds played for both Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion in the 1890s. Both Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud and Arsenal’s David Luiz could achieve this, having played for their opponents in the 2017 Final.
- Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has been involved in 24 goals in 30 FA Cup appearances (16 goals, 8 assists). The Frenchman has also had a hand in three goals in four Final appearances in the competition (1 goal, 2 assists), with both his assists being for the winning goal (2014 and 2017).
- Giroud will also be aiming to become just the second player to score for and against a specific side (Arsenal) in separate FA Cup Finals after Frank Stapleton, who netted against Manchester United in the 1979 Final (for Arsenal) and then for the Red Devils in the 1983 Final (v Brighton & Hove Albion).
- Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored three goals in just two FA Cup appearances, with the Gabonese striker netting both of the Gunners’ goals in their semi-final victory against Manchester City.