Why Chelsea will beat Manchester City to win the 2021 Champions League [Video]
The 2021 UEFA Champions League final is all-English between Chelsea, representing London after seeing off the mighty Real Madrid, and rising powerhouse Manchester City who took care of favourites Paris Saint Germain.
The final, scheduled for Saturday, May 29th at the Estadio Dragao has several sides and conversations but the conclusion will end in a victory for Chelsea.
This final pits two sides that could be no more different from each other and an overview will explain what will give Chelsea the edge against Manchester City when they meet.
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1. Thomas Tuchel vs Pep Guardiola
Like most Champions League finals, this will be a tactical battle from the dugout and it does not get any better than Thomas Tuchel taking on Pep Guardiola.
While Pep for the most part of his career has only lost one final but, in most cases, he’s always had the better squad along with being the tactically superior manager in the dugout.
This time Pep is up against a Thomas Tuchel who, even if he does not have the accomplishments of his Spanish counterpart, is nevertheless one of the best tacticians in the world.
This is made evident from their two previous meetings this season in which Chelsea were victorious both in the Premier League and FA Cup semifinal.
Tuchel and Guardiola also faced off once in the 2015/16 German DFB Pokal final which the Bavarians won on penalties. So it is 2-1, advanatge Tuchel.
2 Squad structure
In the Premier League, there are very few sides that can compete with the enormous talent in the Manchester City squad. One of the few teams that can is Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea which, based on quality, is not far behind.
This will come into play when both sides meet on Saturday as both managers will have enough resources coming off the bench to change the dynamics of the game.
However, Chelsea should win because of the tactical setup of both sides. Manchester City plays free-flowing football without a striker which enables wingers such as Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, and Bernado Silva to have overloads in the wide areas freeing up the center where the influential Kevin de Bruyne plays as a false 9.
That famed City structure has failed against Chelsea simply because of the way Tuchel sets up his side. With three at the back and two full-backs, Manchester City will have to penetrate through the middle which is not something they have been very successful at this season. With strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus afforded very little playing time, this will be pivotal in the way the final plays out.
3. Change in venue
The Champions League final was originally scheduled to take place at the Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul then, due to Covid-19 considerations, the Wembley Stadium was mooted as a possible venue because it involved two English sides.
Finally, it was fixed for the Estádio do Dragão in Porto which has significance for both teams. Manchester City visited the stadium in their group stage Champions League clash and were not victorious.
It is the only stadium the Citizens have visited and not emerged victorious. This will be a factor as both sides come into the final. The stadium is not a happy hunting ground for Manchester City and should therefore favour Chelsea.
As is the case with most finals, they are usually unpredictable, but in this case, it points to a Chelsea victory.