Bruised but unbowed, Arsene Wenger hopes to end the most painful season of his long tenure as Arsenal manager with a record-breaking FA Cup final victory over Double-chasing Chelsea. Though he has been barracked by his own fans and failed to secure Champions League qualification for the first time in 20 years, Wenger can make history by becoming the first manager to win seven FA Cups. With his contract due to expire and no news forthcoming about his future, tonight's game could provide an opportunity for a golden send-off - not that Wenger will be disclosing his plans in advance.
"Would it be a nice farewell? No, what I want is to win the next game. I love to win and I love to do well for my club. I want to win the cup for my club. It's not about me. It's about us winning the trophy and giving everything to achieve it," he said this week.
It is not the first time Wenger finds himself looking to the world's oldest cup competition for solace, with the FA Cup having enabled him to apply silver finishes to the season in both 2014 and 2015.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte hopes to emulate his Italian compatriot Carlo Ancelotti by steering the club to a league and FA Cup Double in his first season at Stamford Bridge. He, too, can point to impressive form - six straight league wins - and a stirring recent Wembley triumph. "We don't feel any pressure. We're just taking this game as it comes. We think we're good enough to beat Arsenal," said Victor Moses.
6 No. of times Arsenal boss Wenger has won FA Cup and can set a record of his own if he wins the cup for a seventh time
3rd Chelsea will become only the third club to complete the double on more than one occasion
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Ten 1, 22:00
'Wenger deserves to stay at Arsenal'
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte does not believe tonight's meeting with Arsenal will be Arsene Wenger's last game as manager. "I know Arsenal's history in the FA Cup. Wenger deserves to work with Arsenal," Conte said.
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