Whether intentionally or not, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has begun his mind games by claiming that Arsenal will be more motivated to prevail in Saturday’s FA Cup final and are the favourites.
Arsenal have the opportunity to improve their current situation with an FA Cup final this weekend where they could potentially win the trophy for a record 13th time.
Manchester United are equal with Arsene Wenger’s side on 12 with the likes of Tottenham (8), Liverpool, Aston Villa and current Premier League champions Chelsea all on seven.
Laurent Koscielny’s needless sliding challenge, Gabriel being stretchered off with an injury and club captain Per Mertesacker playing his first competitive minutes of the season during the second-half against the Toffees, means that the Gunners are lacking defensive cover for the final.
Conte has admitted he’s worried about the fixture given his side’s motivation levels, especially with Arsenal needing a win to make a forgettable campaign that little less painful.
He said, “If you ask me who you think the favourites are now, I think it’s Arsenal.
“They only have this possibility to find a good season after a win in the FA Cup. For this reason, we must find motivation and find in ourselves the right anger.
“I’m not talking tactically. I’m talking about motivation, the right fire in our soul and our hearts. If we have this in the same proportion as Arsenal in that respect, we have the possibility to do the Double and win. Otherwise, we risk a lot.”
After a forgettable campaign on all fronts last term, Chelsea have recovered in fantastic fashion this season with Premier League glory during an unpredictable league campaign.
They’ll be hungry to win the FA Cup final, more so for Conte as he could secure the Double during his first season in charge of the club.