Chelsea and Arsenal fans make themselves heard after finally touching down in Baku as they prepare for their all-London Europa League final
- Fans have landed in Baku in Azerbaijan ahead of the Europa League final
- It has been tough getting there for some, but now there’s a party atmosphere
- Chelsea will play Arsenal on Wednesday night for the Europa League trophy
Football fans have descended upon Baku in Azerbaijan as the Europa League final edges ever closer.
Chelsea and Arsenal fans have turned the Azerbaijani capital blue and red, and a party atmosphere has emerged, with plenty of flag waving, and from the looks of things, plenty of beer.
There have been a few controversies surrounding the location, and it wasn’t easy for some fans to get over there, but those who made it are having a great time in the build up.
Chelsea fans pose with their beers in front of their flag ahead of the Europa League final
Fans of Arsenal and Chelsea have descended upon Baku in Azerbaijan for the big match
Father and son duo Kevin Cobb (left) and Jake Ralph made an incredible journey to Baku
Prices of flights to Baku from London skyrocketed when Arsenal and Chelsea won their semi-final matches. Thousands of tickets went unsold and official travel options cost nearly £1,000.
EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL FACT FILE
Date: Wednesday 29 May
Teams: Arsenal vs Chelsea
Location: Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
Kick-off time: 8pm BST
How to watch : BT Sport / YouTube
Even indirect flight options cost over £800, which included a stop-off in Doha, Qatar.
Sportsmail caught up with two Chelsea fans who planned their own nightmare journey, which involved planes, trains, and automobiles.
In addition to the travel drama, Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan hasn’t made the trip to Azerbaijan and will miss the game amid fears over his safety. UEFA have warned Arsenal that any protests from their fans will not be tolerated.
Plus, it emerged that UEFA’s own report suggested that Baku was not a fit host for the Europa League final.
Despite a nightmare journey for some, the fans in Baku are now enjoying themselves
Some Chelsea fans have been around for a few days, and are making the most of their time
Chelsea face Arsenal in the Europa League final, which takes place in Baku on Wednesday
Some fans made the trip early while others are still arriving on what has proved to be an expensive trip to the other side of Europe.
However, there are now plenty of smiles as the fans gear up for the big match on Wednesday night.
Stalls have popped up selling scarves and other team merchandise as fans look to have a good time ahead of the Europa League final.
An Arsenal fans raises her scarf and poses next to a replica of the Europa League trophy
If fans in Baku don’t have their own merchandise yet, there are plenty of stalls to choose from
A happy Arsenal fan gives the cameras a thumbs up after arriving in Baku for the final
The opening ceremony will apparently attempt to make the traveling fans feel close to home
Still though, there may be more of a muted atmosphere in the stadium than expected. Last week, both Premier League clubs had plans to send back a combined total of over 6,000 tickets – more than half their original allocations – having only managed to shift 3,500 and 2,000 respectively.
The stadium has a capacity of 69,000, and there were initially complaints about the clubs being offered such a small percentage of tickets.
The returned tickets have been put back on general sale, but it remains to be seen just how full the stadium will be for the final.
One restaurant appears to be welcoming both Arsenal and Chelsea supporters inside