This weekend sees the FA Cup Final take centre stage and BetVictor Brand Ambassador Michael Owen shared his memories of the competition as well as his thoughts on who might come out on top in this battle of the North and West London clubs.
Chelsea to win and BTTS
Arsenal v Chelsea
The FA Cup final takes place this Saturday and the oldest club competition in the world is one I will always have wonderful memories of.
As a young football fan, I remember this was the weekend that we all used to get together as a family and have a BBQ in the garden in the build-up to the match.
It has always been a special day in the footballing calendar and in my household especially, there were no bigger footballing days than the FA Cup final.
As a footballer, one of my best moments came in the 2001 FA Cup Final when I scored twice in the last eight minutes of the game to beat an excellent Arsenal side 2-1. I always say that if I could live one day in my life again it would be 12th May 2001, that incredible day when all my boyhood dreams came true.
It’s Arsenal who line up in the final once again this season, after beating defending champions Manchester City in the semi-final and they will be aiming to add to their record haul of 13 FA Cups.
Mikel Arteta, the Gunners’ manager has won the competition twice as a player and was on the coaching staff at Manchester City when they won the competition last year, so he certainly isn’t short of experience in this one!
But, standing in their way is Chelsea, the 2018 winners who are targeting a ninth FA Cup themselves, after overcoming Manchester United in their semi-final.
Unusually, this FA Cup Final gives two managers a chance of winning some silverware in their first season at their respective clubs although it’s not that unusual at Chelsea! Frank Lampard is the sixth Chelsea manager in the club’s history to reach the FA Cup Final in his first full season in charge at Stamford Bridge (Hoddle, Hiddink, Ancelotti, Di Matteo, Conte being the other five).
Frank Lampard has already won this competition four times as a player with Chelsea and will be desperate to add the trophy to his CV once again.
Remarkably, Chelsea and Arsenal contested the FA Cup final just three years ago and on that occasion, thanks to goals from Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal triumphed 2-1.
Looking at the game this time around, I believe Chelsea have the better squad and with the Premier League table and recent history both favouring Chelsea as well, I am going for a 2-1 win to the Blues which will hand Frank Lampard his first piece of silverware as a manager.