Arsenal vs Chelsea combined XI: Pulisic and Aubameyang star in attack

Published: 14:29 BST, 31 July 2020 | Updated: 14:29 BST, 31 July 2020

The big kick-off is fast approaching as Arsenal take on London rivals Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

It is a repeat of the 2017 FA Cup final, when Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey scored as the Gunners sealed a 2-1 victory over the then Premier League champions.

Arsenal will be desperate for repeat of the result on Saturday following a hugely turbulent season, while Chelsea will be hoping to finish off a successful campaign with silverware under Frank Lampard.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at a combined XI between the two London rivals ahead of the weekend’s eagerly-anticipated kick-off…

Aaron Ramsey was the hero as Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 in the 2017 FA Cup final at Wembley

Since Bernd Leno’s injury, Martinez has shone in goal for the Gunners and rather than providing his services as a strong back up goalkeeper – he is now fighting for the No 1 spot following a string of fine performances for Mikel Arteta’s side.

The Argentine eases into the combined starting XI ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga, whose future at Chelsea seems far from certain following a woeful time in goal of late. Willy Caballero is set to start for the Blues on the weekend but Martinez gets the nod.

Azpilicueta continues to lead by example on and off the pitch for Chelsea, and he remains a very steady and reliable presence at right back for Frank Lampard’s side at Stamford Bridge.

The Spaniard just about pips his compatriot Hector Bellerin to the right back spot with the latter still trying to get back to his best following recent injury setbacks. Meanwhile, Reece James is certainly one for the future but Azpilicueta’s experience gives him a starting berth in the final.

Chelsea have struggled in the heart of defence this season and Lampard knows it’s an area he needs to improve but in Zouma, the Blues have a centre back they can rely on for the future.

The 25-year-old Frenchman’s power and strength makes him a tough defender for any attacker to come up against. He played 41 times in all competitions for Chelsea this season, and would benefit further if he had a steady presence alongside him.

It is a troublesome position for both Chelsea and Arsenal and it perhaps says something that both Zouma and Luiz take the centre back spots. 

The Brazilian continues to frustrate due to his nightmare performances and costly mistakes in the heart of the backline. But then sometimes, Luiz can pull of an absolute heroic performance, just like he did against favourites Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final. That’s the Luiz enigma for you.

One game David Luiz can have a nightmare, the next he can produce a heroic display

After a tough start to life in the English capital following his £25million move from Celtic, Tierney proved to be one of Arsenal’s stand-out performers when the Premier League restarted and can be the club’s future left back for years to come.

The Scotland international’s old school, no-nonsense defensive approach is a breath of fresh air at the Emirates while his ability going forward can trouble any defence in football. This was an easy pick.

It has been a brilliant breakthrough season for Mount at Chelsea, featuring a massive 51 times in all competitions as he played a vital role in the club securing Champions League football next season.

Mount may still be learning his trade but he has already shown great consistency and maturity under Lampard – who continues to trust in youth. He scored seven goals and created six assists for the Blues in the Premier League as he made his way into Gareth Southgate’s England plans.

Rewind to October last year, and Xhaka’s time in north London appeared over following his spat with supporters. His performances continued to frustrate Arsenal fans and he was relinquished off his captaincy duties after the controversial incident at home to Crystal Palace.

But his revival since has been an incredible story. He is an ever-present figure under Arteta and is now a key cog in the heart of the Arsenal midfield, dictating the tempo of the game while also possessing the leadership skills the Gunners sorely lack.

After enduring a mixed season last time out under Maurizio Sarri after regularly being switched around with Ross Barkley, Kovacic has gone from strength-to-strength under Lampard.

The Croatian has been a real regular in midfield at Stamford Bridge, and his tidiness and awareness on the ball allows the Blues to get out of uncomfortable situations at the back and start the counter-attack.

Willian’s time at Chelsea could be coming to an end after the FA Cup final with his contract on the brink of expiring, but his departure would certainly come as a big blow to the club.

The Brazilian has continued to shine for Chelsea and his experience up top remains hugely vital for a young Chelsea side. If he was to leave after the FA Cup final, he would certainly want to depart with a flourish against a team mooted as a potential next destination.

This pick was a certainty. Aubameyang remains one of the most deadly strikers in the world and who knows where Arsenal would have finished in the Premier League if it wasn’t for his knack of goals up front.

The Gabon striker finished the season second top-scorer with 22 goals, one behind Jamie Vardy and if his team-mates provide him with plenty of the ball up top at Wembley, he will be licking his lips coming up against a dodgy Chelsea backline.

While replacing Eden Hazard is a near-on impossible task, American international Pulisic produced an extremely strong case to prove he is the man to fill the void in west London.

Pulisic’s blistering pace, quick feet and trickery in short spaces terrorises opposition defences and he finished the season in absolutely fine fettle. Nine goals and six assists in his debut Premier League campaign is a decent return considering he a chunk of the season after suffering a tear in his abductor muscle.

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