LONDON: Fans attending the FA Cup Final between London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley will not see military personnel on security duty around the stadium.

However extra police will be deployed, including armed officers, and have asked fans to arrive early because of intensified searches after the bombing in Manchester on Monday night. The final kicks off at 5.30pm.

Chelsea, newly crowned as Premier champions, are favourites to clinch the double to reward manager Antonio Conte’s first season in charge. The only uncertainty about their line-up concerns whether ex-Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas will start rather than Nemanja Matic.

Matic started Chelsea’s 3-1 Premier League victory over Arsenal in February, with Fabregas coming off the substitutes’ bench to score against his former club. That goal was one of a number of occasions on which Fabregas has punished Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for not taking up his option to reclaim the player from Barcelona.
Arsenal will be without central defenders Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny. Gabriel suffered a knee ligament injury in last Sunday’s win over Everton in which Koscielny is suspended after being sent off in the same game.
Shkodran Mustafi is a doubt with a head injury which could mean a first star in 13 months for veteran German Per Mertesacker.
The 32-year-old, who came on for 37 minutes during his only appearance of the season against Everton, said: “I expect myself to be absolutely ready no matter what comes. I want to make sure I will be ready and my mindset is 120 minutes plus penalties.

“No matter what happens or what is facing me, I am going to go for it. I owe this to this team and club.”

Wenger said: “Per has the leadership qualities so depends a little bit on the system I will go for, the system I will choose. We have been hit hard in a position where we will need to be strong on Saturday.”

Injury to Petr Cech means David Ospina will continue as Arsenal’s ‘cup keeper.’