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Please use this thread for all posts relating to our Europa League Final against Arsenal at Baku Olympic Stadium, before, during and after the game.

The Moderators will be keeping an eye on things, so let's try to keep it intelligent.

Please note that this un-moderated forum is a privilege and its abuse will result in the suspension of your account.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 20:00, Wednesday, 29th May, 2019 (Local UK time/date).

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Europa League final: Arsenal & Chelsea fans face difficult trip to Baku

 

Google Maps directions from London to Baku Olympic Stadium

The most direct route to drive from London to the Baku Olympic Stadium passes through a closed border crossing and an area of eastern Ukraine in which Russian-backed rebels are confronting Ukrainian troops along a mainly static frontline. To avoid those issues, one option is to travel via Istanbul, as with this route, a journey estimated to take 59 hours of driving time

Their stadiums may only be separated by an eight-mile hop across London, but Chelsea and Arsenal fans now face a long journey to the eastern edge of Europe for the Europa League final. 

Success for both sides on Thursday ensured the Londoners will meet in an all-English final in Baku, Azerbaijan on Wednesday, 29 May.

That means supporters will have to travel 2,467 miles to watch the game in a city further east than Riyadh in Saudi Arabia or Baghdad in Iraq, and closer to Mumbai in India than it is to the English capital.

You might think modern transport would mean journeys would be straightforward.

You would be wrong.

  • There are currently no direct scheduled flights between London and Baku in the week of the final.

If you want to fly to the game on the day then a lengthy wait in somewhere like Istanbul or Kiev would be needed.

The quickest journey by air on the day of the final takes six hours 55 minutes, with the majority lasting more than 10 hours.

The only way to fly direct to Baku for the game would be to leave London on the Saturday beforehand and return a week later, three days after the trophy has been lifted.

That's an eight-day trip for 90 minutes of football - and for a game which kicks of at 11pm local time (20:00 BST), so will not finish until about 1am!

So what about the train?

It takes more than four days to travel from London to Baku on public transport, passing through seven countries. Anyone who watched BBC Two's Race Across the World will know it might also involve some less-than-first-class rail conditions.

The whole journey would likely include 11 changes and a two-day train journey from Kharkiv in Ukraine to Baku.

Of course you could drive, but you would be looking at around 59 hours behind the wheel. It is made longer than it might otherwise have been because of the need to avoid a closed border crossing and an area of eastern Ukraine in which Russian-backed rebels are confronting Ukrainian troops along a mainly static frontline. Making the actual journey safely, therefore, involves an alternative route, with going via Istanbul one option.

When you take in the time needed to eat and sleep, it would probably be best to set off on the Saturday to make the Wednesday night kick-off.

For the victors, another game thousands of miles away against English opponents will only be a matter of months away - the Champions League winners will face the Europa League winners (either Arsenal or Chelsea) in the Uefa Super Cup in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday, 14 August.

 

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Leo91   

Biggest farce is that Mkhitaryan might not be guaranteed a Visa due to Azerbaijan's tensions with Armenia. 

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1 hour ago, Leo91 said:

Biggest farce is that Mkhitaryan might not be guaranteed a Visa due to Azerbaijan's tensions with Armenia. 

And,......?

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7 hours ago, Leo91 said:

Biggest farce is that Mkhitaryan might not be guaranteed a Visa due to Azerbaijan's tensions with Armenia. 

Yes it does make UEFA look like idiots.  A mini Qatar 2022.

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Sciatika   
8 hours ago, Leo91 said:

Biggest farce is that Mkhitaryan might not be guaranteed a Visa due to Azerbaijan's tensions with Armenia. 

My Arsenal friends were ecstatic about the idea that Mkhitaryan might not be able to play.

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Edit:  I take it there is no match thread for the NER game.

Quote

Chelsea squad confirmed

Maurizio Sarri has taken the following 23-players to the US for the New England Revolution match.

Goalies: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Willy Caballero, Rob Green

Defenders: Andreas Christensen, David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Davide Zappacosta, Emerson, Marc Guehi, Reece James

Midfielders: Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic, Trevoh Chalobah, Conor Gallagher

Forwards: Eden Hazard, Willian, Pedro, Olivier Giroud, Gonzalo Higuain, Ike Ugbo

Looking at which players have skipped the trip, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Antonio Rudiger, and N’Golo Kante have all been given time off instead.

(not from official site).
Rudiger and Kante - lets hope they can get fit for the final.
Reece James - back from loan, lets hope he gets some time or even starts.

Trevor Chalobah (back from Ipswich), Ugbo (Scunthorpe), Guehi and Connor Gallacher (both development squad) go for the ride I guess.
Tammy, Mount and Tomori still busy with play-offs.

About a dozen senior loans (Moses etc) not included, I guess few are expected to return next year.  It might have been an opportunity to re-integrate Zouma if he were part of the plan.

Edited by Droy was my hero

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Leo91   
7 hours ago, Michael Tucker said:

And,......?

What do you mean And ? Do I have to spell it out for you. The country where the final is taking place, under normal procedures don't allow Armenian citizens through their borders. That's a more damning incitement of hosting the final in Baku than the journey distance.

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1 hour ago, Leo91 said:

What do you mean And ? Do I have to spell it out for you. The country where the final is taking place, under normal procedures don't allow Armenian citizens through their borders. That's a more damning incitement of hosting the final in Baku than the journey distance.

Mate, you need to calm down a tad. And no, you don't need to spell anything out. My comment was meant to be humorous = sorry you missed that.

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Me and my Dad are going. 

My Dad was at Stockholm and we were both at Moscow. Another chapter in our fanaticism for this club. 

I’m a rare example of someone that is actually interested in seeing Azerbaijan. We’re Turkish, and Azerbaijani people are basically the same ethnicity as us, their language is 90% mutually intelligible with ours (grammatical structure is the same, it’s just differences in vocab and accent) and historically they called themselves Turks but the Turkish part of their identity was played down and “Azerbaijani” identity played up by their Russian rulers to avoid possible unity with Turkey (classic divide and conquer). 

So it will be weird to be in a foreign country where we know the language and can easily communicate with the locals. 

Though of course I understand and appreciate the criticisms of the logistical nightmare that the host selection has caused. 

Adds a whole new meaning to “wherever they go, we’ll follow our team” in Blue Flag, “We all follow the Chelsea over land and sea” and “Carefree, wherever you may be”. 

CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE! WE’VE DONE IT BEFORE!

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