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YOUR Champions League final preview!

On Saturday night, Manchester City will play Chelsea in an all English Champions League final, with the winner being crowned champions of Europe! If City lift the trophy it will be the first in the clubs history, but Chelsea have won it once before in the 2012 final. Will Pep’s side overcome a rejuvenated Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel?

Previous encounters.

This season, the Blue side of Manchester have already played the Blue side of London three times this season, with Tuchel’s side winning both since the German took over from Frank Lampard earlier in the season, including the FA cup semi-final. This is bad news for this seasons Champions of England, as Pep can’t seem to get the better of Tuchel.

PORTO, PORTUGAL – 27 MAY : A general view of an inflatable Champions League Trophy on display in Liberdade Square against the backdrop of Camara Municipal do Porto town hall ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea at Estadio do Dragao on May 26, 2021 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)


Tactically, both sides are adaptable and have changed systems this year. This is down to both managers being top class, but also due to the top-tier players at their disposal. City at times have lined up without a Striker, and look as though this is what they will start with in Porto. A 4-3-3 with a false nine is most likely, but Pep has Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero to use if he deems it necessary.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 02: Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City celebrates with team mate Gabriel Jesus after scoring their side’s third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Etihad Stadium on March 02, 2021 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Sam Bagnall – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

Tuchel has tended to use a 4-3-3 in previous jobs, but since joining Chelsea has preferred a 3 at the back, utilising Wing-backs for the extra depth, especially against the better sides. This has allowed Kai Havertz to hit top form in recent weeks, with him taking a much more central role.

Both sides are tactically sound, with the tactics they use being interchangable and adaptable, especially with the quality of players we should see at the final!

Players to watch.

In the Champions League final, the win often comes down to an individual, but who are the individuals that could change the course of the game?

For Manchester City, Phil Foden has been incredible for their run as champions of England, as well as into the final. The English youngster only turned 21 today, so surely has a huge future ahead of him, especially if he keeps up his incredible form. He could surely change a game from the right flank or through the middle, and even offers an option on the left or in that false nine role.

DORTMUND, GERMANY – APRIL 14: Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates his goal with Coach Pep Guardiola of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 1: Leg Two match between Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City at Signal Iduna Park on April 14, 2021 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Joachim Bywaletz/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

For Chelsea, although being slated this season, Timo Werner has been incredibly unlucky all season, underperforming his expected goals massively, but he could still make the difference on the biggest stage. Fellow German Kai Havertz is sure to make a dangerous partnership with Chelsea’s player of the year Mason Mount, who has been key to everything good about Chelsea this season.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 05: Mason Mount of Chelsea celebrates with teammates Christian Pulisic and Ben Chilwell after scoring their team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg match between Chelsea and Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge on May 05, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around Europe remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Champions league record.

This season in the Champions League, Manchester City have been incredible each round, without falling apart at all, unlike in previous years. Many of the games they have played this season have looked as though the Citizens are the better side, and they haven’t struggled for goals despite not playing an out and out striker for much of the campaign. However, they always seem to struggle in the latter stages of the Champions league, whereas Chelsea have previous experience in the final, with their title win in 2012. Many of the events that happened in the 2012 season have happened again to the blues this season, but this is likely to just be a coincidence!

As we saw on Wednesday night in Gdansk, anyone can win a final, or lose it, so it will likely come down to an individual performance or mistake on the night! Who do you think will win?

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Sam Hutchison.

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