Champions League final predictions in the Barcelona Agency. When Manchester City and Chelsea meet in the UEFA Champions League finals on Saturday. The Champions of Europe will crown the 2020/21 season.
The UEFA Champions League finals, slated to take place on Saturday night in Porto, will formally bring the 2020/21 season to a close Europe this weekend. The centerpiece game at Estadio does Dragao will be an all-English affair, with Premier League champions Manchester City taking against rivals Chelsea.
Manchester City had another fantastic season, winning the Premier League after a faltering start to the season, as well as the Carabao Cup. Pep Guardiola’s side also won the Carabao Cup for the second year in a row. The Cityzens breezed through the Champions League group stages, dominating Group C without losing a single match (W5 D1).
Manchester City then breezed past Borussia Monchengladbach (4-0 on aggregate) in the Round of 16 but was pushed hard by Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-final, winning 4-2 on aggregate. Guardiola’s team defeated last season’s finalists Paris Saint-Germain in a tense semi-final to reach their first-ever Champions League final.
On the other hand, Chelsea has had an up-and-down season, going through a terrible period in the league before mounting an unbelievable comeback under new manager Thomas Tuchel, who replaced Frank Lampard in January. The Blues suffered a few low points towards the conclusion of the domestic season, most notably the FA Cup final defeat to Leicester City, and they also required a bit of help from others to finish in the top four.
On the other hand, Chelsea has been outstanding in the Champions League, dominating Group E without losing a game before defeating Atletico Madrid 3-0 on aggregate in the Round of 16. The Londoners then survived a strong challenge from FC Porto in the Last Eight stages before overcoming tournament favorites Real Madrid in the semi-final to set up a showdown with Manchester City.
Team News & Tactics
The two teams have already met three times this season, with Manchester City winning 3-1 in the first match and Chelsea defeating the Citizens twice more — once in the FA Cup semi-final (1-0) and again earlier this month the league (2-1). The Barcelona Agency takes a closer look at this blockbuster matchup ahead of their latest and most significant encounter of the season.
Manchester City has a clean bill of health going into this crucial match. This means Pep Guardiola can call on all of his players for the finals in Porto. The boss did not rotate significantly during the Cityzens’ 5-0 victory against Everton in the final league game of the season. And there are unlikely to be many changes to the lineup that faced the Toffees.
Ederson Moraes, the Premier League Golden Glove winner for 2020/21, is a lock to start in goal. While John Stones and Ruben Dias form a rock-solid pairing at the heart of the Manchester City defense.
Kyle Walker has secured down his berth at right-back. While Joao Cancelo should beat over Oleksandr Zinchenko and Benjamin Mendy in the midfield. As they aim to prevent Chelsea’s counter-attacking attempts, the Portuguese will play as a hybrid midfielder/full-back. Occasionally dropping towards the middle of the park to add more bodies and provide defensive assistance to Rodri.
Kevin De Bruyne is a foregone conclusion, with the Belgian serving as the Cityzens’ primary source of chance creation. Ilkay Gundogan should play in the third midfield slot, with the German looking to push forward and pressure Chelsea’s defense. Riyad Mahrez started on the right-wing. While Phil Foden expected to start on the left-wing due to his recent form, ruling out Raheem Sterling.
Guardiola has often opted to play without a genuine striker this season, and the Spaniard might take a similar strategy on Saturday, with Bernardo Silva or possibly De Bruyne filling in as the false-nine, with the Portuguese going to midfield. From the bench, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus will be options.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Silva, Foden
Chelsea had been concerned about the fitness of important players Edouard Mendy and N’Golo Kante ahead of Saturday’s match.
The duo is fit and eligible for selection for the Champions League final, much to Thomas Tuchel’s relief. Which will significantly boost their hopes in Portugal. Champions League final predictions in the Barcelona Agency.
Tuchel will line up his club in a 3-4-2-1 formation. As he has since taken over, with the fit-again Mendy handling the goal. Reece James has recently been employed in an unorthodox right-sided center-back role by the German strategist. However, he expected to return to his usual right-wing-back position. Allowing captain Cesar Azplicueta to form a three-person backline alongside Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger.
With Kante fit and available, the Frenchman becomes a shoo-in for a starting XI spot. His energy and defensive nous sure to be crucial in Chelsea’s attempts to stop City. Jorginho, an Italian international, will support him, with Mateo Kovacic providing a bench option. Ben Chilwell, ahead of Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri, is a foregone conclusion on the left side.
Mason Mount is a lock for a starting spot in one of the attacking midfield positions. If Chelsea is to have a chance on Saturday, the England international will play an essential part. Despite not being a regular recently, Hakim Ziyech could receive the nod for the second position because he scored in Chelsea’s victories over Manchester City.
If Chelsea decides to play on the break, Timo Werner’s pace might be a huge asset, making him a potential starting as center-forward ahead of Kai Havertz and Olivier Giroud.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell; Ziyech, Mount; Werner
- Manchester City is the eighth English club to reach the finals of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. With at least three more than any other country (Germany and Italy, 6).
- Chelsea and Manchester City have only met once in European competition, in the 1970/71 Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final, in which Chelsea won both legs 1-0 to advance to the final. Where they overcame Real Madrid after a replay.
- Chelsea is in the final of their eighth major European competition. The Blues’ only loss in the previous six was a penalty shootout loss in the Champions League final against Manchester United in 2008.
- This season, Manchester City has won 11 and drawn one of their 12 Champions League games. One more win would tie Real Madrid’s record of 12 in 17 set in 2001/02.
- When Pep Guardiola has been in charge of a team, he has won 14 of his 15 cup finals. His only loss came in the Spanish Cup final against Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid over a decade ago. Manchester City’s manager, on the other hand, has lost more matches against Chelsea in all competitions than any other team in his managerial tenure (seven).
Player to Watch
Kevin De Bruyne
There are many options for this part in a game of this magnitude with two teams full of world-class players. Mason Mount vs. Phil Foden, a clash of English talents, is guaranteed to delight fans, and it will also be Sergio Aguero’s final game in Manchester City colors, making him a player to watch. Ruben Dias and Thiago Silva will both play important defensive roles for their respective teams.
Kevin De Bruyne, on the other hand, is the guy to watch out for in this match on Saturday. The 29-year-old is currently the best-attacking midfielder in the game, as he demonstrated with a masterclass against Everton the night before. His ability to thread passes through defenses or find teammates with whipped crosses makes him a major threat, not to mention the goal threat he brings.
If De Bruyne is in the mood, Manchester City has a good chance of winning the title. In terms of Chelsea, keeping him quiet and limiting his contribution on Saturday could go a long way toward helping them win the Champions League.
Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea
Chelsea has lately defeated Manchester City twice in a short period, and there is no way to rule them out. However, as evidenced by recent defeats to Arsenal, Leicester City, and Aston Villa, the Blues’ form has decreased late. Forcing them to rely on aid from others to keep their spot in the top four.
While the Cityzens stumbled a little following their Premier League crowning, they went all out against Everton last time around. Demonstrating their capabilities while also gaining critical momentum. It will be a competitive game at Estadio Do Dragao, but Pep Guardiola and his team are likely to prevail.
As a result, the Barcelona Agency expects Manchester City to win their first-ever UEFA Champions League title and complete a remarkable treble to cap off a spectacular season. Champions League final predictions in the Barcelona Agency.