Manchester City will take on Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday at Porto in a battle of two English side.
Manchester City will take on Chelsea in the Champions League final on Saturday at Porto. The two teams have met three times this year and Thomas Tuchel’s side got the better of the Cityzens twice. Pep Guardiola’s side are aiming to complete the treble as they have won this season’s Premier League and League Cup titles. City will be playing in their first Champions League final whereas Chelsea will be appearing in their third. The Blues had won the competition back in 2012.
The Champions League title is the only major trophy missing from City’s Cabin since the Abu Dhabi based Royal Family took over in 2008.
Prior to this season, reaching the semi-final in 2015-16 was their best performance in the competition. Since Pep Guardiola took charge in 2016 the team faltered in the quarter-finals on three occasions.
This time around they overcame last year’s finalist’s PSG in the semi-finals to reach the final.
Manchester City have no real injury concerns going into the final and Guardiola will have a full strength squad to choose from.
A rejuvenated John Stones will partner summer signing Ruben Dias in the Central Defence. Kyle Walker is likely to occupy the right-back whereas Zinckenko and Joao Cancelo will fight for the left-back position.
Spanish defensive midfielder Rodri will provide cover to the back four and play maker Kevin de Bruyne will have the task of providing defence-splitting passes to the forward line. The Belgian will be looking to add to his 3 goals and 4 assists in the competition so far.
City have preferred to play without a proper striker in many of their games this season and they are likely to continue with that in the final. Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is City’s top scorer this season with 17 goals in all competitions.
Riyad Maharez and Raheem Sterling are likely to occupy the wings and forward line. Premier League Golden Glove winner Ederson will guard the City goal.
Chelsea beat Spanish giants Real Madrid in the semi-finals to go through to the final. The Blues have turned their season around since Thomas Tuchel took charge in January.
The West Londoners finished in the Premier League top-four and are going to play in the final showdown of Europe’s Elite club competition.
However, Chelsea are coming on the back of a 2-1 defeat against Aston villa in their last match of the Premier League and were thankful to Tottenham to secure a top-four spot.
The positive thing for Chelsea is that they have got the better of City in the last two meetings. One of those victories was in the FA Cup semi-final, although they went on to lose against Leicester in the final.
Chelsea’s strength has been their youthful exuberance. They have a number of quality youngster’s in the squad. 25-year-old Timo Werner will be leading the attack.
The German striker will have either of Pulisic, Ziyech or Havertz starting alongside him. Mason Mount will be the attacking midfielder in front of two holding midfielders, Kovacic and N’Golo Kante.
Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva will marshal the back three consisting of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy who got injured against Aston Villa is expected to be back for the final.