The Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea is due to happen in Baku, Azerbaijan later this month. In the run up to the final, there has already been a huge controversy regarding the safety of Armenian international attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has been denied visas by the Azerbaijan authorities as neither UEFA nor the government out there want to take responsibility for the safety of the player.

There is political tension between the two nations and Henrikh Mkhitaryan has become a scapegoat with Arsenal facing a big loss in terms of personnel in their squad for the all-important game which can decide their participation in the Champions League next season.

There has been a rule change by the competition’s governing body UEFA that allows both Arsenal and Chelsea to name up to 12 substitutes for the game, which will be a massive boost for Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery as it will help them keep multiple strategies and plans in place with the increase in the number of players on the bench.

UEFA have confirmed that the rules will be applicable for the Europa League final. There will also be the availability of a 4th player getting subbed if the match goes into extra time. Football.london did an analysis on how both teams could benefit from these decisions.

Chelsea:

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Antonio Rudiger and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are already missing out on the final due to injuries and there are slots which have opened up due to the absence of these key players from the Chelsea squad. If N’Golo Kante recovers, then one of Ross Barkley or Mateo Kovacic will be on the bench with Willy Caballero, Gary Cahill, one of Marcos Alonso/Emerson, Willian/Pedro and Gonzalo Higuain/Olivier Giroud.

Davide Zappacosta is one of the players who will benefit from the new rules due to a shortage of defenders in the squad, while England U19 international Marc Guehi might also get a call-up to the matchday squad depending on how situations turn out to be. Jamie Cummings and Marcin Bulka are also on the Europa League squad list. Danny Drinkwater, Ethan Ampadu and youngsters like Connor Gallagher and George McEachran will also be in contention to be in the squad.

Arsenal:

Aaron Ramsey, Rob Holding, Denis Suarez, Hector Bellerin and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are not going to be in the squad that travels to be Baku. The likes of Eddie Nketiah, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Joe Willock will mostly be there

Youngsters like Bukayo Saka and Xavier Amaechi have been training with the first team since last week and their inclusion should not be an element of surprise for anyone. Carl Jenkinson is on the Europa League registered squad list and will also be travelling to Baku.

The new rule has given many more flexibility and options for both managers to choose from and make changes according to requirements through the course of the match. The London derby in Azerbaijan will be a matter of pride and prestige for both the clubs competing next week.