Preparations are being finalised at the Olimpiya Stadionu in Baku ahead of tomorrow’s mouth-watering all-English 2018/19 UEFA Europa League Final between Premier League rivals Chelsea and Arsenal.
With excitement and tension levels beginning to peak, we thought it would be an ideal time to take a breath and delve into the always interesting player specials markets at bet365 for tomorrow’s crucial continental contest.
Check out our selections below:
Make sure to read our expert Chelsea vs Arsenal predictions and betting tips in our match preview here.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over 2.5 shots – 1/1
Arsenal’s Premier League Golden Boot joint winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang comes into tomorrow night’s match against Chelsea armed with multiple incentives to score goals for the Gunners.
Alongside winning the Europa League trophy itself, Aubameyang still has an opportunity to land a second top scorer award for the 2018/19 season.
The Gabon international is currently 2 goals shy of the tournament’s current leading marksman and UEL Final counterpart Olivier Giroud, and Aubameyang will have to score at least twice tomorrow to have any chance of securing a share of the top scorer’s gong.
Aubameyang has averaged 2.6 and 3.9 shots per game in the Premier and Europa League respectively this season, and with motivations to perform tomorrow layered thick, we think the striker looks brilliant value at 1/1 with bet365 to rack up over 2.5 shots against Chelsea.
Eden Hazard over 2.5 shots – 5/4
Like Aubameyang, Eden Hazard will be equipped with numerous reasons to produce the goods for his club in Azerbaijan tomorrow night.
There is a huge chance that Hazard will be pulling on Chelsea blue for the last time at the Baku Olimpiya Stadionu ahead of what looks like an inevitable summer switch to Real Madrid in Spain.
Hazard was already quoted this week as saying that a Europa League Final victory would be a “perfect farewell”, and the talismanic Belgian will be doing everything in his considerable power to find the net one last time for Chelsea.
The 28-year old averaged 2.5 shots per 90 minutes in the Premier League in 2019/19, and though that average plummets to just 0.7 in the Europa League, Hazard’s desperation to finish on a goal-scoring high for the Blues should ensure that his attempts on goal output is much higher than the mean.
With those factors considered, we think Hazard is priced generously at 5/4 with bet365 to register over 2.5 shots against Arsenal.
David Luiz over 63.5 passes – 11/10
Chelsea’s supporters have often been critical of their team’s style of play under the direction of enigmatic Italian manager Maurizio Sarri, though the former Napoli coach’s methods almost always guarantee that the Blues are the dominant team in terms of ball possession in the majority of their fixtures.
The Blues’ overall dominance of the ball has in turn helped to push some of their players individual passing statistics to incredibly high levels, and Brazilian defender David Luiz is one of the best examples of the impact Sarri’s philosophy has had at Stamford Bridge.
In 2017/18, Luiz averaged 49.2 passes per Premier League fixture for Chelsea, though the defender’s passing stats skyrocket to 72.8 passes per 90 minutes under Sarri this year.
In the Europa League, Luiz has averaged a staggering 82.2 passes per game in 2018/19, compared to the 47.5 per contest he averaged in Champions League games for Chelsea last year.
In total, Luiz hit more than 63.5 passes in 66% of his Premier League appearances and in 100% of his Europa League appearances this term, making him a cracking price at 11/10 with bet365 to surpass that distribution target again.
Laurent Koscielny under 1.5 tackles – 5/4
At 33, Arsenal’s injury-prone captain and centre-half Laurent Koscielny remains the club’s classiest operator at the back.
The French international’s ability to snuff out danger before it fully develops is one of his biggest attributes and its’ a trait that has been clearly reflected in his defensive statistics this season.
Koscielny averaged just 1.1 tackles per game in the Premier League in 2018/19, a figure eclipsed by his interceptions (1.8) and clearances figures (4.1) for the same campaign.
In the Europa League, Koscielny has averaged only 0.8 tackles per contest this term, while his interceptions and clearances figures stand at 1.3 and 3.4 per 90 minutes respectively.
Overall, Koscielny has made 2 tackles or more in only 23% (6 of 26) of his appearances for the Gunners in the Premier and Europa League this season.
With those numbers acknowledged, we think Koscielny is well worth backing at 5/4 with bet365 to make under 1.5 tackles against Chelsea tomorrow night.
Granit Xhaka to get booked – 7/4
Regular bookings come with the territory for Arsenal enforcer Granit Xhaka. The Swiss international provides plenty of midfield muscle for the Gunners, though his aggressive style routinely lands him in trouble with referees.
Xhaka has been shown yellow a whopping 13 times for Arsenal in all competitions this season, and 1 of the 10 Premier League bookings picked up by the 26-year old was in the Gunners’ 2-3 reverse at Chelsea last August.
The central areas of the pitch in Baku tomorrow are likely to be some of the most keenly contested patches of grass at the Olimpiya Stadionu. We expect Xhaka to be in the thick of the action again, making him worth considering at 7/4 with bet365 to be shown yellow again.