The UEFA Champions League final is set for Saturday, May 29 as Manchester City takes on Chelsea in an all-English affair that is being played in Portugal. Here are the facts of the match and our hot tips on how you might want to play along and get in on the action.
Who Contests The Final?
Manchester City plays Chelsea in an all-English affair. The Blues are gunning for a third title while City are first-time finalists.
Where’s The Venue?
The final will be played at the Estádio do Dragão, home to FC Porto, in Portugal. A maximum of 16,500 spectators will be allowed in the stadium.
- This is the third time that two English teams meet in the final. 2007/8 &
2018/19 were the other years.
- Thomas Tuchel is the first manager to reach successive finals with two
different clubs. PSG in 2019/20 and now with Chelsea.
- Tuchel is yet to beat Pep Guardiola in a major final.
- This is City’s first-ever champions league final
- Both of Chelsea’s last UCL finals ended in penalty shootouts. (2007/8 &
What to look out for
Will City’s Investment Finally Pay off?
Winning the Champions League title has been The Cityzens main ambition since Abu Dhabi Group took over in 2008. It’s taken 13 years of heartache and big-spending but Alas! City finally have a clear shot at the target.
City has been itching to be part of the elite, not just in terms of financial power but also in the titles earned. Should they win, it will justify the colossal sums spent over the years in attracting some of the best players in the world.
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Pep Guardiola UCL To Lose?
“If he doesn’t win the Champions League with Bayern Munich or City, then he’s failed.”
How many times have you heard that from a football pundit? After years of round of 16, semi & quarter-finals elimination, Pep Guardiola is finally back in the final.
The last time he won the big-eared trophy was in 2010-11 with Barca. Despite the drought, Pep has a good record in major finals.
Out of the 15 he’s managed across Spain, Germany and England, he’s won all but one. It looks promising for Pep, doesn’t it?
Thomas Tuchel Mending The Bridge?
Hands up if you backed Chelsea to be in the Champions League final back in January?
Tuchel has undoubtedly turned things around. In his nine games against Zinedine Zidane (x2), Pep Guardiola (x2), Diego Simeone (x2), Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, and Carlo Ancelotti, he’s won eight out of nine.
However, recent results - FA Cup final defeat to Leicester, and a last day premier league loss to Aston Villa - have cast doubt over their ability to deliver under pressure.
Tuchel’s record in major finals is not encouraging. Of the seven he’s overseen across Germany, France, and England, he’s won only three. Can he get over the line this time?
Who’s In, Who’s Out?
Tuchel will be sweating over the fitness of two major players ahead of Saturday’s showdown.
Midfielder N’Golo Kante was absent in Sunday’s defeat due to a hamstring injury while goalkeeper Edouard Mendy sustained a rib injury at Villa Park. The German tactician remains hopeful that both can be available for selection.
For City, there aren’t any major misses expected. The team will be confident after a final 5-0 win over Everton. Pep probably knows his starting eleven. The only question is, will he do something unexpected with his selection? Let’s wait and see.
Form Guide: Who’s Better?
Manchester City goes into the final in better form despite their two losses in the last five. A final day victory at the Etihad ensures they go into Saturday’s final much more relaxed.
Chelsea has serious questions to answer after a tepid performance in their final game which saw them lose 2-1 to Aston Villa. This was their third loss in the last five games.
The last two Champions League finals between English sides produced under 2.5 goals. In 2018/19, Liverpool won 2-0 against Tottenham while Chelsea and Manchester United in 2007/08 finished in a 1-1 draw.
Both of Chelsea’s final appearances (2008, 2012) have been decided on penalties. With the meeting between the two sides recently having been close, we can’t rule out such an eventuality. Chelsea won their semi-final FA Cup clash 1-0 and 2-1 league win at the Etihad.
In the UCL, Man City have restricted their opponent to scoring one goal in the knockout rounds. As for Chelsea, they’ve conceded more than one goal once in the last five games across competitions. We can’t see City scoring more than one.
Predictions 1: Manchester City to win
Prediction 2: Under 2.5
Prediction 3: Manchester City 1-0
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How To Watch The Final In Nigeria
Kick-Off time: 8:00 pm WAT
Broadcast Partner: ESPN Africa | SuperSport