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For the second time in the last 3 years, there will be an all English matchup for the Champions League trophy. The previous edition featuring Liverpool and Tottenham was in 2019. Manchester City and Chelsea will fight for the title on May 29th in Istanbul, Turkey. The early favorites are Manchester City and it is fairly easy to see why. Manchester City has a deeper squad and a more experienced coach. Obviously that doesn’t always equate to winning since this would be the first time that Manchester City will be in the Champions League final.
Has the time finally come for Manchester City
Manchester City have been considered the favorite many times over the last few years but have been stopped in their tracks every single time. They have never really seemed to find their stride in European competition. The Premier League is a different story of course since they have been able to take home two domestic league titles in the past three years (2018, 2019). Manchester City is also on track to win the Premier League this year as well, making that 3 titles out of the last 4 years.
Pep Guardiola will have his chance at the coveted Champions League trophy once again after having last won it in 2011 with Barcelona. Of course, he has received much ridicule over the last few years for over-complicating big games with weird formations and tactics. But his managerial genius and understanding of the game is undoubted. Whether or not he’ll let the moment get to him is a different story but I think he’s learned his lesson.
Can Chelsea get the upper-hand against Man City
On the other hand you get Chelsea who have been surprisingly cohesive over this calendar year. They did hire Thomas Tuchel in January 2021 so his presence has definitely been felt in the club. Chelsea is also fourth on the Premier League table but that is a tight race so they might not finish the season in the top 4.
While the Champions League final is the biggest game in the world, excluding the World Cup final, Chelsea still have some very important games on their schedule that will determine whether or not they will be in the Champions League next year. One of those games actually happens quite soon. On May 8th, Chelsea will take on Manchester City while being 3 point clear of the 5th place team in the Premier League.
Man City rested, Chelsea stressed
So there is a lot on the line for this Chelsea team while Manchester City has the luxury of being able to rest key players. It might not sound like much of an advantage but when you take into consideration the national games, European competitions, and domestic competitions then you realize how much this rest can really refresh a team.
Manchester City will most likely have their foot off the throttle on Saturday as they begin preparations for the Champions League final on May 29th. By all means, this still promises to be an entertaining matchup given that we will get a small preview of the final.