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Arsenal and Chelsea writers pick their combined XIs ahead of FA Cup final

Arsenal face Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup final this afternoon in an all-London derby, with the Gunners intent on gaining revenge for last season’s 4-1 thrashing at the hands of the Blues.

Frank Lampard’s men go into the game as favourites having finished the Premier League season with a flourish to secure a fourth-place finish, with Chelsea securing Champions League football on the final day of the 2019/20 campaign.

Arsenal, meanwhile, recorded their lowest league position in 25 years, eventually finishing eighth, to ramp up the pressure on the final with Europa League qualification at stake in addition to silverware.

There has been plenty of debate in the build-up to the fixture about the various individual duels likely to take place on Saturday evening and so we decided to get each of our four reporters across Arsenal and Chelsea to pick their own combined XIs.

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Here’s what they came up with…

Art de Roché

Arsenal are clear in the goalkeeping department and with Emi Martinez confirmed to start, he will be the man between the sticks.

For more balance, a back three will be used. Cesar Azpilicueta and Kieran Tierney will play as the composed wide centre-backs, capable of contributing to attacks from deep while Rob Holding takes the central role. Despite his inconsistencies, he has shone in this role specifically.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles will act as an inverted wing-back to protect the central areas behind N’Golo Kante and build play with Mason Mount as the No.10. Granit Xhaka will be the deeper-lying playmaker, dictating play as Bukayo Saka pushes up the left to support the attack.

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Mount playing as the No.10. not only gives the side a creator but will allow Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to play more centrally. He will work off Olivier Giroud as opposing nature of the pair’s games may complement them nicely, causing defenders real problems.

Art’s team: Martinez; Azpilicueta, Holding, Tierney; Maitland-Niles, Kante, Xhaka, Saka; Mount; Aubameyang, Giroud.

Arsenal representatives: 7

Chelsea representatives: 4

James Benge

Up front, picking just three from the rich array of talent seems ludicrously unfair,…