Will It Be a Treble For City’s Pep?

Last updated: May 27, 2021 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 20:00
Venue: Gazprom Arena
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: LWLWW
Away Form: WLLWW
Last Meeting: Man City 1 – 2 Chelsea
Competition: UEFA Champions League Final

Saturday sees the biggest club game of the year and a highlight in every player’s career as Manchester City take on Chelsea in the Champions League final. City’s Pep Guardiola could seal a treble with a win while Thomas Tuchel could deliver Europe’s top prize just four months after joining the club.

Pep Guardiola is seeking to conclude finally his decade long quest to add a third Champions League trophy to the ones he won while manager at Barcelona. The long term project of assembling some of the best talents in the world, at the cost of over £750m, could well deliver the biggest prize in this campaign. Domestic trophies have been easy to obtain, but this weekend only their Premier League rivals stand between them and achieving European glory, which has been their obsession ever since Pep took over from Manuel Pellegrini in 2016.

Man City has endured a frustrating European campaign over the years but has been on point this time around. They conceded just one goal in a comfortable cruise through the group stages continuing their solid defensive campaign to the knockout rounds. Man City will be playing in their first Champions League final, and the nerves would be extremely high on the pitch but very experienced on the touchline.

Man City are the ninth different English team to feature in a European final. The debutants are favourites this time around, but just one of the last ten debutants have won in the last ten finals featuring first-time finalists. For the third consecutive year, a team is playing in the final for the first time (Spurs 2019, PSG last year).

Ikay Gundogan is their top scorer with thirteen goals, with Riyad Mahrez their European top scorer with four goals. Both sides do not play with a real striker adopting the false nine systems. Instead, Kai Havertz has played as their forward player on several occasions, while Man City played with Kevin De Bruyne as their most forward player. Man City has lost the last two consecutive games, but they fielded several fringe line-ups on both occasions. This time around, they will field their strongest team, with Pep Guardiola making it clear he had seen the areas he needed to strengthen coming into this most important game.

When Chelsea fired Frank Lampard and hired Thomas Tuchel, reaching the Champions League final was hardly seen as a realistic objective at the time. Amid a tough schedule, many expected Tuchel to steady the ship and concentrate on getting into the top four. However, they deserve their place in the final, seeing off Atletico Madrid, who won the Spanish league this season and Real Madrid on the way to the final.

Roman Abramovich and Chelsea know that getting to a Champions League final doesn’t end with a trophy and champagne. The same applies to Thomas Tuchel and Thiago Silva, who endured heartbreak in last year’s finals with PSG losing out to Bayern Munich. Nevertheless, the Blues have won more silverware than any other side since 2012. However, a great cause of concern is that they are a side that has lost five finals in the last five years over different competitions.

Tuchel has benefited from a strong midfield pivot and a strong three-person defence as it did wonders for Antonio Conte. The defensive grit and a talented attack make them a dangerous side on the counter-attack. Jorginho and Ngolo Kante are likely to have a busy day in office against a fierce tiki-taka defence. Still, they proved their worth against the Real Madrid trio of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casimiro, another huge task against a talented side.

Mason Mount has had an inspirational campaign in the big games, and his performance in this game could have a big influence on the results. Jorginho is Chelsea’s top scorer in the league with seven goals, which are all penalties. Oliver Giroud is the Champions League top goalscorer with six goals.

The former PSG manager has had all the joy against Pep Guardiola since stepping foot in England, winning both encounters against him. He is the first manager to reach back to back finals with two different teams. The two sides have played in two major European cup finals in 1970-71 Cup Winners Cup semi-final where Chelsea won both legs1 – 0 and beat Real Madrid after a replay to win.

Chelsea is contesting a seventh major European final. They have won six and lost just once against Manchester United in 2008 by a penalty shoot-out. They will be featuring in a third Champions League final, a record only eclipsed by Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, who have played four finals. They have reached a major final for the last five years.

Team News

Ikay Gundogan is their top scorer with thirteen goals, with Riyad Mahrez their European top scorer with four goals.

On paper, Man City are favourites, but with the optics of a final and given the fact that this is their first-ever Champions League final, it’s probably an even affair.

Thomas Tuchel is the first manager to feature in two consecutive finals with different teams.

The Blues have won more silverware than any other side since 2012; this is their third Champions League final.

Expected Line-Ups:

Man City (4-2-3-1): Ederson, Zinchenko, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus
Subs: Steffen, Stones, B. Silva, Foden, Garcia, Walker, Garcia, Fernandinho, Mendy, Aguero, Torres
Not available:
Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Caballero, Azpiliqueta, Silva, Rudiger, Christensen, Chilwell, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Havertz, Pulisic, Werner
Subs: Barkley, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Emerson, Abraham, Tomori, Kovacic, Alonso, Ziyech, Alonso
Doubtful: Mendy
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Man City This Season helsea This Season
1st League Position 4th
6 (3) Wins (away) 4 (2)
3 – 0 v FC Porto Biggest Win 4 – 0 v Krasnodar
Draws (away) 2 (2)
Biggest Defeat
Mahrez (4) Top Goal Scorer Giroud (6)
Y6, R0 Discipline Y7, R0
0 Failures to Score 0
50% Clean Sheets 67%
50% Both Teams to Score Games 17%
33% Over 2.5 Goals 33%
67% Under 2.5 Goals 67%
  • The two sides have met 48 times, Chelsea has a huge advantage of twenty-seven wins against City’s fourteen wins and just seven draws between them.
  • Chelsea has won the last two games, meaning Thomas Tuchel has never lost against Pep in England.
  • Mahrez was the star man against PSG coming from the right and will have another day against Ben Chilwell, who loves to venture forward in one of the most entertaining matchups.
  • Both sides have no performing striker, so the big battle would be on the attacking midfielders featuring Kevin De Bruyne and Mason Mount, who has been an inspiration.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
08/04/2021 EPL Man City 1 – 2 Chelsea Sterling 44’
17/04/2021 FA Cup Chelsea 1 – 0 Man City Ziyech 55’
03/01/2020 EPL Chelsea 1 – 3 Man City Matic 35’
25/06/2020 EPL Chelsea 2 – 1 Man City B.Silva 17’
23/11/2019 EPL Man City 2 – 1 Chelsea Kante 21’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Manchester City could complete a treble with a win here, already securing the League Cup and the Premier League. It is City’s first final in the Champions League. For Chelsea, it is their third Champions League final and is their only chance of silverware after losing in the FA Cup final against Leicester.

Despite Chelsea being a bogey team for City at the moment, we can’t see past a win for the Manchester team. We expect both teams to score, priced @1/1 with bet365, but see City winning this one 2-1, which is priced @ 8/1.