Antonio Conte said: "I think in this type of game, it's hard to tell if there is a favourite. And I will never forget that".
Mertesacker's first appearance of the campaign came as a late substitute on the final day of the Premier League season last weekend, and the club captain admitted that he faces a steep learning curve if he is called upon for the final. "We're going to try and stop them because we want the Double".
The Gunners may have now gone 13 seasons since last being crowned champions of England, but they've won the FA Cup 12 times overall - twice in three years - and Arsene Wenger has overseen half of those triumphs.
Asked during his pre-match press conference at Stamford Bridge if Wenger deserved to be considered one of the greats, Conte was emphatic. I don't smoke, but tomorrow I'm hoping to smoke a cigar if we win. It is not important which are the players we have to play.
"They won a lot of trophies, now it's like a new generation".
"The FA Cup and Champions League, why not?" "I believe there's a difference between being criticised and being treated in a way that human beings don't deserve. I never thought the club was thinking about sacking me". For the first time in 20 years, Arsenal will not compete in the prestigious European soccer tournament, which has only amplified the fans' demands that Arsene step down.
The Arsenal boss will today be hoping for a repeat of the last time the Gunners faced Chelsea in the FA Cup final, when goals from Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg handed the Gunners a 2-0 victory and secured Wenger's second domestic double, in 2002.
Just as the season reached its climax at Wembley Stadium, Arsenal turned in the type of tenacious display lacking so often, and against a side so commanding in the Premier League.
Manager Arsene Wenger has switched from a traditional back four to a three-at-the-back arrangement with wingbacks in the German's absence. I think the club always saw my job, during pre-season and in that period, and trusted in my job.
His own contract has two years left to run and he said he would be more than happy to extend it.
"The behaviour of some people during the season, that hurts me most".
Given that Wenger is the focal point for many frustrated fans' anger, you would forgive him for also demanding that he be singled out for praise when the club succeeds.