The Cityzens Vs The Blues. The UEFA Champions League Final.
The most awaited match of the football season is upon us. The UEFA Champions League Final takes place on the 30th of May at 00:30 Indian Standard Time.
The game between Manchester City and Chelsea will be only the third time that the UCL final will take place between two English sides (Previous finals include Manchester Utd vs Chelsea (07-08) and Liverpool vs Tottenham (18-19) ). Previously, there have been seven one-nation UEFA Champions League deciders.
Although the final week of the Premier League is still left to be played, both teams will have their eyes set on the UCL final. For Manchester City, this is the first time that they’ve been able to reach the finals of the UEFA Champions League. Manager Pep Guardiola has been unable to replicate the Champions League success of his Barcelona side in his spells at Bayern Munich and Manchester City thus far.
Chelsea on the other hand will be playing the UCL Final for the third time in their history. The first time was a loss on penalties to Manchester United in the 07/08 season and then an incredible triumph at the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich in 2012.
This one is a particularly tough game to call. The reason being that Manchester City by far looks like the best team in the world at its current form. However, since Thomas Tuchel took over at Chelsea, he has been able to get positive results on two occasions against Guardiola’s Cityzens (in the Premier League and the F.A Cup Semi-Finals.)
Cityzens vs Blues Head-To-Head
8 May 2021 – Man City 1-2 Chelsea (Premier League)
18 April 2021 – Chelsea 1-0 Man City (FA Cup)
3 January 2021 – Chelsea 1-3 Man City (Premier League)
25 June 2020 – Chelsea 2-1 Man City (Premier League)
23 November 2019 – Man City 2-1 Chelsea (Premier League)
24 February 2019 – Chelsea 0-0 Man City (EFL Cup)
Results between these two sides have been fairly evenly spread out but since Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, the Blues have managed to beat the Cityzens twice, once in the league at the Etihad Stadium and once in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Chelsea was able to get over the heartbreaking loss to Leicester City (fourth loss in all competitions since Thomas Tuchel took charge in January) in the F.A Cup Final after winning 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League. The loss against Leicester in the F.A Cup and previously against Arsenal in the Premier League meant that it was the first time Chelsea had lost back-to-back matches under Thomas Tuchel. Getting a win back against Leicester should have been a good boost for the Blues going into the final game of the Premier League season against Aston Villa in order to secure a Top 4 spot in the league but Aston Villa were able to win 2-1 at Villa Park and Leicester’s loss against Tottenham meant that Chelsea were barely able to secure Top 4.
Manchester City went into the final game of the Premier League season against Everton with an unexpected and inconsequential loss against Brighton on Wednesday night. However, they showed against Everton why they’re the Champions of England. Sergio Aguero put the perfect icing on the cake by coming off the bench and netting twice like he did on his debut for the Cityzens back in 2011!
With the League Cup and the Premier League (3rd in 4 seasons) titles already under their belt, Manchester City are on course to complete the treble.
Fantasy Football Picks
Manchester City: With Guardiola expected to go back to his false 9 tactics that have worked wonders in getting to the finals, there are a couple of easy picks when it comes to Manchester City players. Riyad Mahrez has been instrumental in getting the Cityzens to their first Champions League final in their history. Kevin De Bruyne is the focal point of the team. The best midfielder in the world will be looking to prove his critics wrong once again with another masterclass in the biggest match club football has to offer. Phil Foden is the generational talent in this new group of young stars that are making headlines in England. In defence, John Stones and Manchester City’s player of the season and the newly voted Footballer Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year for 2020/21 Ruben Dias will look to maintain the incredible standards that they’ve set so far this season.
Chelsea: Another supremely talented English youngster, Mason Mount will, without a doubt, be at the helm of everything good about Chelsea in the Champions League final. Timo Werner will always be a threat upfront with his pace. He’ll be looking to silence his critics with a good performance and a goal when his team desperately needs it. Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech seemingly haven’t been able to mark a starting place in Tuchel’s starting line-ups but this will be the perfect match to step up and have a big impact if they’re given the green light from the get go. Antonio Rüdiger and N’Golo Kante have been the main part of Chelsea’s successful defensive performances since Tuchel took over. They’re not top fantasy picks for obvious reasons but can contribute in an attacking sense at any given moment.
Substitutions: It’s also important to mention that you’ll get 2x points for players who come off the bench. Olivier Giroud is Chelsea’s leading goalscorer in the UCL this season and is always going to be a threat upfront if he gets the right service. Raheem Sterling could also be a good addition. He gets into good positions, hopefully, if you select him, he’ll be able to apply the finishing touches. Sergio Aguero will be looking to make a goalscoring contribution in his final appearance for Manchester City.
Since Thomas Tuchel took over, Chelsea have been hard to break down. The theme with this Chelsea side is that they do not concede but they also do not score a lot of goals. However, they do have talented players up front that can make a difference at any moment and City defenders will have to be at the top of their game.
Manchester City will have to be at their absolute best going forward and at the back as well because they’ve already lost twice to Chelsea this season and this is probably the most important game in the clubs’ history.
The UEFA Champions League Final will take place on 30th May at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto, Portugal.
Stadium capacity for both sets of supporters will be confirmed soon and hopefully, we can have a good number of fans at the stadium so that we don’t have to deal with fake crowd noises!