An English name will be added to the Uefa Champions League trophy on Saturday as Manchester City take on Chelsea in Lisbon.
It’s a contest between the English Premier League champions and the club who were crowned kings of European football in 2012.
The Blues face just as hefty a task this time around, as they bid to repeat the feat that saw Didier Drogba help them to glory in a penalty shootout against German heavyweights Bayern Munich.
City have never won the competition but are guided by Pep Guardiola, who became the youngest coach to lift the trophy when his Barcelona side saw off Manchester United in 2009.
Pep is firmly in the groove, too, having secured the EPL at a stroll for the third time in four seasons at the Etihad Stadium.
They also saw off Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Co in the semi-finals as they carved up Paris Saint Germain for a 4-1 aggregate victory, reaching the final opportunity their oil-rich owners have always craved.
Borussia Dortmund were the victims in the last eight as City progressed 4-2, while their fellow Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach were trampled 4-0 on aggregate in the first knockout round.
Coach Thomas Tuchel was parachuted into the Chelsea job after club legend Frank Lampard had guided the Londoners through the group stage before being sacked by ruthless owner Roman Abramovich.
The omens were good when they muscled past soon-to-be Spanish champions Atletico Madrid in the last 16, cruising to a 3-0 aggregate success.
Porto came next, giving the Blues a taste of this season’s eventual final venue, the Estadio do Dragao.
A 2-0 win in Portugal was enough to see them squeeze through the tie, before stepping it up a gear to see off Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
City have the luxury of a clean bill of health for the showpiece, with Guardiola boasting an embarrassment of riches to choose from.
Outgoing hero Sergio Aguero will likely have to settle for a place among the substitutes, with Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and English whiz kid Phil Foden expected to form the forward trio.
Tuchel has a late concern over first-choice keeper Edouard Mendy, with Kepa Arrizabalaga waiting in the wings if he fails to make it.
Midfield dynamo N’Golo Kante is also a doubt, in what would be a big blow to the underdogs’ chances should the French World Cup winner not be fit to start.
Manchester City vs Chelsea: 2021 Champions League final by the numbers
- Coming into this game, Manchester City has picked up 15 points from the last 5 games, both home and away. That’s 3 points per game on average. BTTS has landed in an intriguing 3 of those games. Manchester City has scored 10 times in the last 5 fixtures.
- Manchester City is in great form, and the home fans will be loving it. They have won the last 6 games that they have played at home.
- Manchester City will be confident of scoring today and will look to keep up their record of scoring in every single home game this season.
- Manchester City has had no trouble finding the back of the net recently and has scored in the last 6 home games. They have failed to find the net in 0 home game this season.
- Momentum is really building for Manchester City as they have now gone 12 games without losing. They have won 5 of the last 5 games they have played.
- It’s possible we will see a couple of goals here, with the last 7 games for Manchester City ending with 2 goals or more being scored.
- Manchester City is unbeaten in the last 5 games coming into this fixture against Chelsea, having won 5 and drawn 0. They have scored 10 goals in those 5 games.
- In the last 5 matches for Manchester City, 3 of those games has ended with both teams scoring. This season 4 matches (33% of all matches) involving Manchester City has seen BTTS landing.
- It’s likely that Manchester City will score today, as they have netted in the last 7 games coming into this one and have scored 10 goals in the last five games.
- Coming into this game, Chelsea has picked up 10 points from the last 5 games, both home and away. That’s 2 points per game on average. BTTS has landed in just 1 of those games. Chelsea has scored 7 times in the last 5 fixtures.
- Superb stuff from Chelsea away from home, where they are currently unbeaten in 6 games. Can they go another game without defeat?
- Scoring is not an issue for Chelsea when they play away from home. They have scored in the last 6 games they have played on the road. Can Manchester City stop this run?
- Chelsea has put together a good run of form and has now gone 2 games without defeat.
- Chelsea has kept 3 clean sheets in the last 5 games, conceding 2 goals during this period. Overall this season, their defence has kept a clean sheet on 8 occasions.
- Chelsea will be looking to keep up the momentum today against Manchester City, having lost just 1 game from the last 5. They have won 3 and drawn 1
- Just 1 of the last 5 games for Chelsea has ended with both teams scoring. They have won 3 of those 5 games. Overall, BTTS has landed in 3/12 games for Chelsea this season.
Stats source: Footystats.org
Manchester City vs Chelsea: Champions League final prediction
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing.
Manchester City vs Chelsea: UCL starting XI prediction
Probable Manchester City Starting XI: Ederson, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Ruben Dias, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden.
Probable Chelsea Starting XI: Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Reece James, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount, Timo Werner.
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