Conte offers support for Wenger ahead of final showdown

Elias Hubbard
May 27, 2017

Nacho Monreal will likely feature in the back 3 as Arsene Wenger is short of options and should Chamberlain fail to be ready in time, Hector Bellerin will start at right wing-back.

"When you stay for so long time in a great team, we must consider him one of the best managers in history". Indeed, this weekend's formation battle, 3-4-3 against 3-4-3, is a fitting end to a domestic campaign that has become nearly entirely based around that shape. The Premier League crown had only just been secured but, amid the jubilation, the Italian's thoughts had already turned to his next aim. "It's true that in neutral opinions Chelsea will be favourites but we have gone into finals like that as well". Thirtyeight games played since then and his side have suffered just four defeats.

"Mertesacker is going to be crucial for Arsenal if he plays; he will have to play very well if Arsenal are to have any chance".

Will this be Arsene Wegner's last match as Arsenal coach? . It could have a sweeter ending on Saturday, May 27 if they can take the FA Cup, too.

"Only this year Arsenal missed out on the Champions League".

Arsenal averaged six per game in the league last season and were awarded at least five in both meetings with Chelsea, plus both meetings with Spurs. The 3-4-3 works so well because Conte has named such a consistent starting XI.

Mertesacker, 32, is set to play against Diego Costa for the first time since being sent off for a challenge on the Chelsea striker in league action in January a year ago. Pedro has scored four times for Chelsea in the FA Cup this season. One of the midfielders in that squad, of course, was Conte.

Wenger's switch to a back three - mirroring Chelsea - has helped Arsenal find a second wind, but the defence he aligns beneath the Wembley arch will be far from a first-choice triumvirate. Chelsea overwhelmed their London rivals 3-1 back in February. "It's not about me, it's about us winning the trophy and giving everything to achieve it". This week, he should have been watching nothing but Chelsea.

For Hazard, the inevitable Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons are more worthwhile in terms of the hard work they put day after day, and as examples for the types of leaders that they are.

If Cesc Fabregas starts (which is unlikely) he can vacate his position and leave space in behind for teams to exploit.

However, Ozil will be up against Chelsea defensive midfield maestro N'Golo Kante.

The other side of the equation is that Conte won't quite know what he's up against this weekend. It is not important which are the players we have to play. "We can't hide from that and have to own up to it".

That's one more than the legendary Alex Ferguson, meaning he can become the most decorated manager in the competition's history - claiming the record outright from George Ramsay - if Arsenal emerge victorious.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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