European Weekend Preview: Arsenal meets Chelsea in FA Cup final, Dortmund faces Frankfurt in DFB-Pokal , and more

European Weekend Preview: Arsenal meets Chelsea in FA Cup final, Dortmund faces Frankfurt in DFB-Pokal , and more

European Soccer

European Weekend Preview: Arsenal meets Chelsea in FA Cup final, Dortmund faces Frankfurt in DFB-Pokal , and more

Chelsea concluded its run towards another Premier League title a week ago, lifting the trophy at Stamford Bridge. This Saturday could see the Blues do the double, by lifting the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.

Chelsea comes into this match on a seven-game winning run in all competitions. The Blues have had a tougher road to the final, eliminating the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United, and Tottenham. Pedro leads the team in goals with four so far in the competition, while playmaker Eden Hazard will be the man to watch. Saturday’s final is also a sending off for captain John Terry, who ends his 19-year career in London following the match.

Standing in Antonio Conte’s way is Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, who missed out on Champions League soccer for next season. The Gunners will take part in the Europa League instead, but are also looking to end the season on a high note. Arsenal defeated the likes of Preston North End, Southampton, Sutton United, Lincoln City, and Manchester City to get to Saturday’s final. Forward Theo Walcott leads the team with five goals in this competition, while Alexis Sanchez scored the winner in last month’s semifinal win.

Elsewhere, a pair of Americans square off in the German Cup final, while Barcelona looks to win the Copa Del Rey final over Alaves. Despite not winning the Ligue 1 title, Paris Saint-Germain looks to lift their second trophy of the year, facing off with Angers in the Coupe De France. The 2016-17 Serie A campaign comes to a close, with both European football and league safety at stake in the final weekend of action.

Here is a closer look at this weekend’s action:

ENGLISH F.A. CUP FINAL

Saturday

  • Arsenal vs. Chelsea

SPANISH COPA DEL REY FINAL

Last week saw Barcelona fall in their race for the La Liga crown, coming up second to Real Madrid. Despite six straight victories to end the season, Luis Enrique’s side fell by three points to Los Blancos. Now the Catalan side turn their attentions to Saturday’s Copa Del Rey final at the Vicente Calderon against Alaves. The sides may have finished 35 points from one another in the league table, but this could be an interesting match between the two teams. Barcelona ousted the likes of Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, and Atletico Madrid from this competition, and will be heavy favorites. Alaves had the easier road to the final, eliminating two second-tier sides before ousting Deportivo and Celta Vigo. Alaves’ Edgar leads the team with eight goals in all competitions, while Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez each have four goals so far.

Saturday

  • Barcelona vs. Alaves

GERMAN DFB POKAL FINAL

A pair of Americans see their sides square off in Berlin on Saturday as Borussia Dortmund faces off with Eintracht Frankfurt for the German Cup final. Dortmund ended the season on a six-match unbeaten run, eliminating Bayern Munich in the semifinals to get here. Christian Pulisic has a goal and an assist so far for Thomas Tuchel’s side, which is searching for their its German cup win since 2012. As for Frankfurt, they needed a penalty kick shootout to eliminate Borussia Monchengladbach in April’s semifinal round. 22 points separated these sides in the Bundesliga table, but look for a heavily contested match from both sides. Frankfurt is strict on the back-end, and hoping to quiet a Dortmund attack that has several options going forward. Niko Kovac’s side will look to lift their first German cup title since 1988.

Saturday

  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Borussia Dortmund

ITALIAN SERIE A 

Despite Juventus wrapping up their sixth consecutive league crown a week ago, Roma knows a second-place finish is the best they can do. The hosts welcome Genoa to the Olimpico on Sunday, knowing a win will clinch second. Luciano Spalletti’s side is coming off three consecutive victories, with two of them against AC Milan and Juventus. Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah have been a nice one-two punch for Roma, totaling 43 league goals between them so far. Genoa defeated Torino, 2-1, last weekend and will look to striker Giovanni Simeone (12 goals) to lead the way in Rome.

Third-place Napoli travel to Sampdoria on Sunday, hoping for a second-place finish and a Roma slip-up. Maurizio Sarri’s side is a point behind Roma, and will need the capital side to drop points vs. Genoa. The visitors have been on fire over the past two months, unbeaten in their last 11 matches, with nine of them being victories. Dries Mertens leads Napoli with 27 league goals this season, while Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne have combined for 30. After a strong start earlier this season, Sampdoria have really tapered off. The hosts sit in 10th, and are winless since April 3. Three forwards are tied for the team lead with 11 league goals, with Patrik Schick being the youngster of the bunch.

Crotone’s chances of Serie A survival are still alive going into the final weekend. Davide Nicola’s side are a point behind 17th-place Empoli, and know a win will surely helped their chances of top-flight football next season. Crotone however face a tough test this Sunday, welcoming Lazio to the Ezio Scida needing a good result. The hosts saw a seven-match unbeaten run snapped against Juventus last weekend, while Lazio have lost their last three matches in all competitions. Diego Falcinelli’s 12 goals lead the way for Crotone, while Ciro Immobile’s 22 lead Lazio.

Saturday

  • Atalanta vs. Chievo Verona
  • Bologna vs. Juventus

Sunday

  • Cagliari vs. AC Milan
  • Roma vs. Genoa
  • Sampdoria vs. Napoli
  • Crotone vs. Lazio
  • Fiorentina vs. Pescara
  • Inter Milan vs. Udinese
  • Palermo vs. Empoli
  • Torino vs. Sassuolo

COUPE DE FRANCE FINAL

Despite losing the Ligue 1 title to Monaco this season, PSG will look for their second domestic crown on Saturday. Unai Emery’s side already have lifted the Coupe de la Ligue title after a 4-1 thrashing of Monaco back in April. A victory over Angers in Saturday’s final will give PSG a record 11th Coupe de France crown. The Parisians trounced Monaco, 5-0, in the semifinals back in late April, while Angers shutout Guingamp, 2-0. Stephane Moulin’s side is searching for its first domestic title, and will look for striker Famara Diedhiou to add to his nine goals this season. PSG has leading scorer Edinson Cavani (49 goals) at their disposal looking to hit the 50+ mark with a goal or two on Saturday.

Saturday

  • Angers vs. PSG

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