I would put my money on a City win but my heart remains with the Gunners.
So I am still recovering from the shock after losing a game to Swedish minnows Osterund in the Europa League. This is despite having started as outright favourites. While this final is Arsenal's only realistic chance of silverware this season, it was unprofessional for us to be complacent in the Thursday game as winning the Europa League is also a possibility. Had we crashed out at the hands of the Ost team, that would have been a major embarrassment and confidence killer.
But we are here now and we are focused. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang will lead the Gunners in this final, which manager Arsene Wenger has never won. But there's always a first. Given how much criticism the squad has been under in the past few years and how they were booed off the pitch by Arsenal fans on Thursday, the mentality of the players going into this game will be one of determination. While Man City obviously lead when it comes to the quality of their first team, a focused Arsenal can beat any team right now. Pep Guardiola intends to keep his second keeper between the sticks because Claudio Bravo has done well in this tournament.
But his first team will definitely be on the pitch and Arsenal need to look out for the likes of Rahim Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and for some reason our dawa is always Yaya Toure even though Guardiola has not been keen to name him even on the bench for many games this season. Last weekend, Guardiola underestimated his opponents and was kicked out of the FA Cup by lowly Wigan.
This is a final, so he won't take any chances and his world class players will be front and centre. Finals are the hardest games to predict because both teams have worked hard and proven themselves to be here. The two teams have played just once this season with City winning that 3-1 at the Etihad. I would put my money on a City win but since I believe in the universe responding to my thoughts I'll predict an Arsenal win.
Man United Vs Chelsea, Sunday 5:05pm,
My Prediction: Red Devils...2 Blues..2
This has been the strangest season ever. I don't remember any other season where second placed Manchester United and fourth-placed Chelsea lost two matches in their last five. Man United have been sub-standard this season but so has been the rest of the teams except Man City. Jose Mourinho is dealing with egos and considering he has the biggest of them all, it isn't quite working. Paul Pogba seems to have faded since Alexis Sanchez arrived and with rumours of discord with manager Mourinho, his performance is wanting.
Sanchez too hasn't started ruling the world as he had expected. United still have to find their balance but Chelsea are no better. Antonio Conte is clearly fighting a back room battle of which we don't understand half of it. Some players are playing for the badge while others are behaving like twats. Despite United being the inform team during their first league encounter this season, the Blues managed to walk away with a slim victory. Both clubs have sets of players that can win a Champions League final and midweek, Chelsea held Barcelona to a draw at Stamford Bridge much to our chagrin. But I predict a rather dull game in terms of quality but hot tempers will be in plenty.
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|Publication:||The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)|
|Date:||Feb 24, 2018|
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