UEFA Europa League final: expert predictions

A selection of former Arsenal and Chelsea players, plus some neutrals, have made their guesses.

Eden Hazard could be the main man in Baku
Eden Hazard could be the main man in Baku ©Getty Images

Who will win? UEFA.com rounds up the views of football experts and club insiders ahead of tonight's UEFA Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal.

The resuts of our 11-man celebrtity straw poll? Six players are going for a Chelsea win, two back Arsenal, and three are sitting on the fence.

Wayne Bridge, former Chelsea defender: Chelsea win
I think Chelsea will win but it's going to be a really tight game. They know how to win finals, so they've definitely got a chance. It could be [Eden] Hazard's last game for the club and he will want to go out on a high.

#UCL winner Ashley Cole
#UCL winner Ashley Cole©Getty Images

Ashley Cole, former Arsenal and Chelsea defender: 50/50
First and foremost I hope it's a great final, two great teams – but I hope Chelsea win.

Mark Lawrenson, former Liverpool defender: Chelsea win
I am expecting it to be extremely open, when finals are usually tight. I think there will be a few goals. Who will win it? It is hard to say, because both teams are so inconsistent and both also have brilliant individuals who are capable of being match-winners. Chelsea's Eden Hazard is one of them ... and probably just tips the tie in the Blues' favour for me. BBC.co.uk

Lauren, former Arsenal defender: 50-50
I see it at 50%, either can win. I give Chelsea a chance because Hazard has been a symbol for that team and he wants to seal the title for Chelsea ... He can be decisive apart from other tactical factors. Arsenal are in a pretty good moment. Emery knows perfectly what this competition is, has won it three times and then there is the good form of [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and [Alexandre] Lacazette. I think they are the best in this competition, they understand each other perfectly and they can also be decisive in the final, so I say it is 50-50. Goal.com

Liverpool great Michael Owen
Liverpool great Michael Owen©Getty Images

Michael Owen, former Liverpool forward : Chelsea win
Maurizio Sarri must do without Antonio Rüdiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi in Azerbaijan, but they do have Hazard. I feel the brilliant Belgian will be the difference between the two sides in Baku.

Emmanuel Petit, former Arsenal midfielder: Chelsea win
If [Chelsea] win the Europa League, they'll have a European trophy, which alongside their earlier Champions League qualification, translates to a good year for Chelsea... the important thing is to win games and win trophies, and they’re in a good place to do that.

Charlie Nicholas, former Arsenal forward: Chelsea win
If Hazard turns up I think Chelsea will win, but Arsenal have snuffed him out before and can put more than one man on him.

United forward Marcus Rashford
United forward Marcus Rashford©Getty Images

Marcus Rashford, Manchester United forward: Chelsea win
I'm going to go Chelsea [to win Europa League]. It's just…Hazard. He can do anything at any moment.

Robin van Persie, former Arsenal forward: Arsenal win
Personally, I think Arsenal have the edge. They're a little bit better. But Chelsea have Eden Hazard and he is a very special player – at any time he can come up with something.

Fernando Torres, former Chelsea forward: 50-50
I'm really happy Chelsea have made it again; it can be a great season after all for them. We were in the same situation in 2013. Hopefully they can win another Europa League trophy; they have a great team to play against but obviously I will be supporting Chelsea, though I want the best for Petr Čech.

Ian Wright, former Arsenal and England forward: Arsenal win
You have to say there is an argument for both teams. Obviously I want Arsenal to win and I think Arsenal might just nick it simply because of the two guys up front. Mirror

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