Thursday, June 24, 2021

Prediction: Manchester City vs Chelsea

Verdict: Manchester City win

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

With all eyes on Portugal this weekend, this year’s Champions League Final will have an all-English showdown when Manchester City and Chelsea face off on Saturday night.

Manchester City

Starting with Pep Guardiola’s side, while The Sky Blues might have struggled to find their best form over the final few weeks of the season, they certainly laid down the most clinical of markers last weekend. Eventually storming their way to a thumping 5-0 win against an inconsistent Everton when fans returned to the Etihad six days ago, the former Barcelona boss should find the mood in his camp at a high. Wrapping up their third Premier League title in the past four years with time to spare, City also know that victory out in Portugal will complete a famous campaign for the English giants. Reaching their first European final after coming past now-former French champions PSG thanks to a dominant 4-1 aggregate win, Guardiola will be calling on attacking talisman Kevin De Bruyne to spearhead their charge this weekend. Once again finding the net against Everton last time out, the one-time Chelsea starlet has also recorded strikes in back-to-back Champions League outings.

Team News

Manchester City have a full squad to choose from out in Portugal on Saturday night after being given a clean bill of health.

Bagging a brace after coming off the bench against Everton in his final Premier League outing, Sergio Aguero will be hopeful of making another cameo appearance this weekend.

Chelsea

As for Thomas Tuchel’s, while Chelsea might have managed to land themselves another top-four finish in the Premier League this season, The Blues really limped their way over the finish line. Eventually hit with what was a shock 2-1 defeat away at Aston Villa and only booking their Champions League return thanks to a favour from Tottenham, they have shown some recent signs of an issue. Despite gaining plenty of plaudits from across Europe after bringing in the former PSG boss back in January, Tuchel’s side find themselves on a run of form that has seen them lose three of their last four matchups across all formats. With that run highlighted by a shock 1-0 loss against Leicester in the FA Cup final earlier in the month, Chelsea know they’re seeking a far more polished display on foreign soil. Despite making the trip to Portugal as an outside pick, there is no doubt that the West London outfit will be boosted by their record against Saturday’s opponents. Including landing that last-gasp 2-1 win when they traveled to the Etihad on Premier League duties earlier in the month, Chelsea also knocked City out of the FA Cup thanks to a 1-0 victory at Wembley on April 17th.

Team News

Ahead of Saturday’s showdown, Chelsea have been boosted by the news that Edouard Mendy and N’Golo Kante returned to training with the rest of the first-team squad at Cobham on Wednesday.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Chelsea have landed back-to-back victories against Manchester City over the past six weeks.
    • City’s last three matchups have produced 17 goals at both ends of the pitch.
    • Including a 2-1 defeat against Aston Villa last weekend, Chelsea have lost three of their last four matchups across all formats.
    • Chelsea have failed to record more than a single strike in nine of their last 12 fixtures away from Stamford Bridge.
    • Kevin De Bruyne has found the net in back-to-back Champions League matchups.

    Conclusion

    While Chelsea might have upset City twice over the past six weeks, The Sky Blues should be smelling a real chance on foreign soil this weekend. Signing off their Premier League campaign with a thumping 5-0 win against Everton, Pep Guardiola’s side know that a first European crown is in touching distance. With the West London outfit only limping their way over the finish line after that shock 2-1 defeat away at Aston Villa six days ago, Thomas Tuchel’s side have shown some recent signs of a struggle. Including that 1-0 loss against Leicester in the FA Cup Final earlier in the month, The Blues have lost three of their last four matchups across all formats. With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne enjoying a real purple patch, we’re backing City success in Portugal this weekend.

    Verdict: Manchester City win

    Best Odds: 10/11

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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