Loftus Cheek: Chelsea's season will only be a success with Europa League title

Huge game in Baku to come

It's been 17 days since the conclusion of the Premier League, but over the next few days we're going to see two all-English ties in two major cup finals.

Liverpool and Tottenham face off for the ultimate prize in club football in Madrid on Saturday in the UEFA Champions League final, but before that we have the Europa League final to look forward to.

Hosted over 2800 miles away over in Baku, Azerbaijan, London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal will be battling it out, each desperate for their first piece of silverware of the season.

Chelsea come into it as favourites and they know that they're guaranteed a return to the Champions League next season after finishing third in the Premier League, whereas the Gunners need to win to end their two year exile from European footballs elite competition.

So with that in mind you'd think that all the pressure is on Unai Emery's men coming into this encounter. However, tempers have been flaring in the build up to the big game after David Luiz and Gonzalo Higuain clashed in the Blues' final training session which lead to Sarri storming off. You have to see it to believe it...

Those scenes won't do Blues supporters' nerves any good but some words from midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek suggest that they're motivated for it, with the England star insisting that the Blues need to go all the way in Baku for the 2018/19 campaign to be regarded as a "success".

Speaking to Standard Sport, the 23 year-old said that "I don't know if we can call it a success, yet. Yes, we've secured Champions League but we still want to finish it off with a Europa League."

"We've had ups and downs this season but, all in all, it's been a decent season. We still have to stay focused and be ready for the final."

The Blues have plenty of experience to call upon in their ranks with the majority of the squad still remaining from their Premier League title winning campaign back in 2016/17, so they're certainly in good shape. But they do have one piece of major injury news which concerns RLC himself...

Ruben will be watching on from the sidelines

Following the completion of the Premier League season, Chelsea were involved in a lucrative friendly over in the United States, much to the dismay of head coach Maurizio Sarri who wanted the Europa League to be his sole focus.

But the Italian had little say in the matter, with the club needing to head over there for commercial reasons and it came at an enormous cost. With England man Loftus-Cheek suffering a major achilles injury that's going to rule him out for up to a year. He'll miss this one, the UEFA Nations League with the Three Lions and the majority of next season so it's a crushing blow.

He'll be watching on from the sidelines in Baku and he's desperate for his teammates to bring the trophy back to West London. "(Winning the Europa League will be) Massive, because we've had ups and downs and we've done so well to get back into the Champions League, get third place and to lift a trophy in Europe would top it off."

Ruben Loftus-Cheek
RLC's physicality and driving runs will be severely missed by Chelsea in Baku, with the 23 year-old growing in stature throughout the campaign

All English European ties are always a gripping watch but it's not often that finals include teams from the same city, so this all London encounter should be pulsating encounter. Being from the capital itself, this match will mean more to Loftus-Cheek than the majority of his teammates and opponents:

"It's a derby so we look forward to that and it's good for English football that, in the Champions League and Europa League, we have all-English teams in the final. But we hope to beat Arsenal!"

We're all set for some night at the Baku Olympic Stadium and we're excited to see how it plays out. Regardless of the result it looks like Maurizio Sarri could be moving on from Chelsea after being cut to 1/5 to become next Juventus boss. Whilst a win for Unai Emery would be his fourth title in four seasons in the Europa League which would be an absolutely sublime achievement.

Roll on Wednesday night...

Bet £5 & Get £20 FREE BETS! 😍
Claim Bonus
🟠 £40 Welcome Bonus! 🟠
18+/New depositing customers on only/11.02.20 - until further notice/First deposit min. £10/Qualifying accumulator bet with min. stake of £10 and min. 2 selections with min. odds of 1/2 (1.50) per selection/Bonus: 50% of the stake of the qualifying bet/Max bonus £40, credited once the qualifying bet has settled/Bonus wagering requirements: x6 on min. odds of 1/2 (1.50) as a single bet, or 1/2 (1.50) per selection as part of an accumulator bet. Bonus valid for any sports, for 7 days. Deposit method restrictions apply./ Full T&Cs apply/
Claim Bonus
🔥 BET £20 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! 🔥
New users only. Min deposit £20. Place qualifying bets of £20 in first 7 days after deposit to unlock free bets. Free bets rewarded as 4 equal free bets that total £40. Min odds 1/1, 3+ legs & expire in 7 days. Winnings credited in cash. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
♦️ Bet £15 & Get £15 FREE BET + 2 x £5.50 tickets to our Poker Tournaments! ♦️
18+ | New UK and Ireland customers only | Min £/€15 deposit get max 2 x £5.50 tickets to FootyAccums Poker League | Bet min £/€15 on sports and get £/€15 free sports bet, minimum odds must be 2.0 | Tickets credited automatically after eligible first deposit | Tickets expire in 30 days | Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned | T&C’s apply |
Claim Bonus

🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔴 Bet £10, Get £20 in free bets! 🔴
New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. 18+
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Claim Bonus
New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Betfair account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £10 & Get £20 in Bonuses 🌟
18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive a £10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days.  Plus a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Claim Bonus
BET £10 & GET A £10 FREE BET! 💪
New UK customers only. £10 Min Deposit. 100% matched free bet on your first deposit of £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bets. Debit Card deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Full Terms apply. 18+. Bet The Responsible Way.
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.