UEFA Champions League
Manchester City vs Chelsea
It’s an all English affair for the greatest prize in club football. With world class players on show and fans finally back at games, it should be a final that offers something extra special.
Manchester City don’t have experience being in this situation as a club, but that won’t matter here. The club has players all over the pitch that have played in vitally important games, and although none are bigger than this one, they can handle that pressure. With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogen, Phil Foden and Ruben Neves enjoying a wonderful season, they have a real chance of bringing Manchester City their first European trophy. Rihad Mahrez was the difference in the semi-final, and he’s a player who still seems to be underappreciated by a lot of people, despite what he brings to the side. It’s hard to back against Man City on paper, but Chelsea have beaten them twice recently and that will give City some issues. Pep Guardiola doesn’t lose many finals, in fact he’s only lost 1 out of 15 which is an incredible stat. The team have shown a winning mentality this season having already picked up the League Cup and the Premier League title, and this trophy would complete a remarkable treble for the club. It’s always clear how Man City will set up against teams, but trying to out play and outperform City is something very few teams are capable of. There will be a lot of lessons learnt from these City players after the last two games against Chelsea, and they’ll be more than ready to give everything to win this one.
Chelsea’s disappointment at losing the FA Cup recently to Leicester should be considered here. The team hasn’t played that well in recent fixtures having lost to Arsenal and Aston Villa also in recent games, but they’ll be hoping that form won’t follow them into this one. It does seem as though Thomas Tuchel has found a way to beat Manchester City, at least in the last two previous head-to-heads, but both were very different games from one another. This one will be another different game and another test of two tacticians trying to figure each other out. Since Tuchel’s arrival, everything had gone swimmingly for Chelsea up until a couple of weeks ago, but they did reach their target of finishing in the top 4 and that should boost this side. Beating Man City twice is a great achievement in itself, but now they have to do it again to win the Champions League, and they’ll be confident they can. The pace that Chelsea go forward with, especially when Timo Werner is playing is remarkable. He’s such an important player for the side, not just in terms of goals, but what he offers to the entire squad and how defenders play against him due to his pace. Mason Mount will be another player that Chelsea hope continues his form as the ability he’s shown this season has been world class. With goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and N’Golo Kante returning from injury, they’ll be two players that give the team a huge boost as the goalkeeper is a step up from Kepa and Kante is likely the best midfielder in his position at the moment. It’s a game that can go either way, but it should be highly intense and entertaining with a lot of quality on show. Both teams have players in their side that can change a game in an instant and win a football match.