BC-SOC--Europa League Final-The Latest
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — The Latest on the Europa League final (all times local):
Two fans have been injured in confrontations ahead of the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea.
Azerbaijan Health Ministry spokesman Parviz Abubekirov tells The Associated Press one British fan was hospitalized with an open head wound and bruising “as a result of an altercation between fans of the two football teams.”
Abubekirov adds a Russian man was hurt in an unconnected incident in a bar and treated at the scene.
Relatively few English fans have traveled to Azerbaijan for Wednesday’s final because of high travel costs, and neither Arsenal nor Chelsea sold out their allocations of 6,000 tickets apiece.
However, many fans of both clubs have flown in from Russia and southeast Asia, and both Arsenal and Chelsea have local supporters in Azerbaijan.
Arsenal and Chelsea are gearing up to play a London derby far from home in the Europa League final.
Playing three time zones and 2,460 miles (4,000 kilometers) from London in Azerbaijan, the game offers Arsenal coach Unai Emery the chance to win a record fourth Europa League title.
It could be his Chelsea counterpart Maurizio Sarri’s last game with the team after he refused to rule himself out of the vacant Juventus post on Tuesday, though he said he would find it hard to leave the English Premier League.
N’Golo Kante has a knee problem and is not guaranteed to start for Chelsea, which is already missing injured midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Victory would hand Arsenal its first European trophy since the 1994 edition of the now-defunct Cup Winners’ Cup, while Chelsea is seeking a first European title since the 2013 Europa League.