Manchester City and Chelsea have made it an all English Champion League final on 29th May for the first time since the cagey final where Liverpool was victorious against Tottenham in 2019. For the neutral spectators, it will be an interesting final to watch as they both love to play expansive and exciting football.
Man City managed to reach their first-ever Champions League Final by defeating PSG 4-1 on aggregate while Chelsea surpassed a stern test by Real Madrid to reach their first final since 2012 (3-1 aggregate victory).
Chelsea fans may agree that they have the upper hand as they have already defeated Man City in the League and FA Cup Semi-Final but they will remain firm underdogs for the Champions League Final.
It could be argued that in both those Chelsea wins, Man City had made quite a few changes to the team which may have upset the balance on the pitch. However, with a full-strength squad at their disposal, a different City team will turn up and try to get the job done.
Man City may be the favourites to win the cup but anything can happen in an all English Final so you can never rule out Chelsea in bagging another important win against their English rivals. The players already suffered a final loss at the hands of Leicester last weekend so Tuchel will surely set them up to ready for this final which will now mean more to his players.
Their shock FA Cup Final loss was a big dampener to the end of their season but they will know that they have the potential to finish it on a serious high if they can get their hands on the Champions League trophy for the second time in their history.
There do have exciting players such as Mount, Werner and Pulisic who are all dynamic, quick and cause many problems for defences. At the back, the likes of Rudiger and Zouma have vastly improved under the tutelage of Tuchel so they will remain vital players to keep the Man City attack at bay.
Kante will be the key player for Chelsea in the final as he will be the midfielder to cover the most blade of grass with is incredible engine and disrupt Man City’s flow of passing, which he managed to do against Real Madrid’s Modric and Kroos in a man of the match performance in the 2nd leg.
Man City, on the other hand, will want to carry their momentum of winning trophies after already lifting the League Cup for the fourth time in a row and winning the Premier League with a few games to spare. Normally there are a few stand-out players that carry the team but pretty much all the first-team players have been putting in great performances throughout the season.
The likes of Foden, Gundogan, Mahrez and Stones have risen to new levels this season while first-team regulars like De Bruyne, Ederson and Fernandinho have remained their most important players and leaders on the pitch.
Ruben Dias has been a revelation since he signed for the club and since his first appearance; they have held the best defensive record in the Premier League. A solid signing that needed to be done to eradicate the weaknesses in the defence that was too often present last season.
Guardiola has lifted nine league titles in the past 12 seasons as a first-team boss but his last UEFA Champions League winners medal came in 2011. The Spanish manager will look to become the sixth coach to win the European cup with two different teams.
He will surely set his Man City teammates to suffocate Chelsea high up the pitch with endless pressing and slick passing. As Guardiola stated: “We are used to playing a certain way. We cannot do it differently.”
Tuchel will be the first man to lead two different teams into the Champions League Final in successive seasons. He has been the top man since joining the club in January and has managed to bring organisation and discipline to the Chelsea squad.
In France, he won back-to-back titles with PSG and made it to the final last season. He had prior success with Dortmund in Germany so he is a manager who has plenty of experience at the top level.
The German manager will make sure that his team is hard to break down and will wait to hit Man City on the counter-attack. He will also make sure that the team is patient on the ball and will train them to be more direct when attacking the opposition goal.
The Final has now moved from Istanbul to Porto due to the rise of COVID cases in Turkey. That means there will be another UEFA Champions League final in Portugal for the second year running.
UEFA Ranking: 3
UEFA Ranking: 12
|Champions League this season:|
Record: W11 D1 L0 F25 A4
Top scorer: Riyad Mahrez, Ferran Torres (4)
Semi-finals: 4-1 vs Paris
Quarter-finals: 4-2 vs Dortmund
Round of 16: 4-0 vs Mönchengladbach
Group C: Winners
|Champions League this season:|
Record: W8 D3 L1 F22 A4
Top scorer: Olivier Giroud (6)
Semi-finals: 3-1 vs Real Madrid
Quarter-finals: 2-1 vs Porto
Round of 16: 3-0 vs Atlético
Group E: Winners