UEFA Champions League Final Preview: Manchester City vs Chelsea: Form Guide, team news, last five meetings, who and how to watch
FILE PHOTO (EDITORS NOTE: COMPOSITE OF IMAGES - Image numbers 1071867516, 464313758, 1141519827 - GRADIENT ADDED) In this composite image a comparison has been made between Thomas Tuchel, Manager of Chelsea (L) and Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City. Chelsea and Manchester City meet in the UEFA Champions League Final on May 29,2021 at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, Portugal. ***LEFT IMAGE*** BELGRADE, SERBIA - DECEMBER 11: Head coach Thomas Tuchel of Paris Saint-Germain looks on prior to the UEFA Champions’ League Group C match between Red Star Belgrade and Paris Saint-Germain at Rajko Mitic Stadium on December 11, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images) ***CENTER IMAGE*** MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: The Champions league trophy is seen prior to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Manchester City and Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on February 24, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

It's the third all-English UEFA Champions League final and Chelsea's third appearance in the grand showdown, but debutants Manchester City go into the match as favourites. 

  • Form Guide

 

Manchester City

City scored 11 goals in their last three games of the Premier League season which saw them edge out Newcastle United, winning 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at St. James Park, before throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 against Brighton and Hove Albion in their second-successive away game.

That, however, was swiftly forgotten about when the Cityzens put on a show for the Etihad crowd as they signed off from another glorious league campaign by thumping Everton 5-0 on the day they lifted the Premier League trophy for the third time under Pep Guardiola.

It was legendary stiker Sergio Agüero's final league game in a sky blue shirt and he left his mark the only way he knows how, by banging in two second-half goals - just like he did on his debut against Swansea City back in 2011.

 

Chelsea

Chelsea go into Saturday's showpiece in rather poor form, having lost two of their last three games of the Premier League season, but did beat Leicester City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge just three days after losing to the Foxes in the FA Cup final.

That victory was ultimately enough to secure fourth place and therefore Champions League football again next season, despite losing to Aston Villa by the same scoreline and the abject 1-0 home defeat to city-rivals Arsenal.

In his own words, striker Timo Werner has endured "the worst season" of his career and failed to score in any of the afore-mentioned matches, but played a big role when he claimed an assist as Chelsea beat Man City in the FA Cup semi final earlier this season.

 

  • Team News

 

Manchester City

Ilkay Gundogan, who was moving gingerly when he was withdrawn against Brighton and Hove Albion and was an unused substitute against Everton, has confirmed he is fit to face Chelsea. This is a huge boost given that the midfielder has enjoyed his best-ever goal-scoring campaign - 13 in the Premier League and 3 in the Champions League.

With Joao Cancelo returning from suspension picked up against Brighton, it means Pep Guardiola has a full squad to choose from.

 

Chelsea

Chelsea look set to have a full squad to choose from in Porto, following N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy’s return to training yesterday after picking up injuries in our last two Premier League fixtures.

"N’Golo is looking good and I hope he stays like that for Saturday," said head coach Thomas Tuchel.

"Edou[ard Mendy] made a huge improvement with the management of pain from when the injury happened, which is good. We hope to have him back. If he is fit, then Edou will play."

 

  • Last five meetings

Tuchel knows how to beat Manchester City and has won both meetings with Pep Guardiola this season.

City may have got the better of Frank Lampard's blues in the 3-1 win back in January, but Tuchel's masterstrokes saw him emerge victorious from, not only the FA Cup semi final, but the Premier League meeting that followed when his side came from behind to win 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium after being let back into the game by Agüero's shocking panenka penalty miss.

Man City, though, dominated the ball for large parts off all three encounters so they shouldn't be too fazed by the London side's turn of fortunes. 2019/20's meetings were evenly-matched as both sides beat each other 2-1 in their respective home fixtures.

The two clubs have never previously met in European competition, so Saturday night is quite a tough one to call. Neither side stands out as having more 'big-game' experience, but Guardiola does have a better record in finals than his managerial counterpart.

 

  • Who to watch

 

Mason Mount

The homegrown wonderkid has continued his stunning rise throughout 2020/21 and must be a dead-cert to make Gareth Southgate's 26-man England squad for this summer's European Championships if he avoids injury in the final. His confidence to play and beat players in tight areas, coupled with a brilliant eye for goal, make him any defender's nightmare. City can't let him find those little pockets of space, or they will be punished.

Riyad Mahrez

Since signing for £60m from Leicester City, the Algerian has proved his world-class quality in every season. None more so than this campaign when he scored three goals over the two semi final legs against Paris Saint Germain in the last four of Europe's premier club compeition.

He'll be up against Ben Chilwell, most likely, so the tricky winger will have to pull everything out of the bag to beat his man, but he's done it time and time again for Guardiola's side. One more time can't hurt.

Hakim Zyech

An absolute steal from Ajax, Zyech's first season at Chelsea got off to a rocky start under Frank Lampard but, since Tuchel's timely arrival, the Morocco international has shown his true class. He has previous against City, too, of course as it was his winner that sent Chelsea through to the FA Cup final.

A star-turn in Chelsea's semi-final win against Real Madrid - and for Ajax against Tottenham Hotspur in 2019 - he has a real habit of delivering on the big occasion.

Sergio Agüero

Sergio. Oh Sergio. The greatest goalscorer in the history of Manchester City. He may have only played a bit-part role due to injury and COVID-19 this season, but what he has done for the blue half of Manchester is simply staggering.

It's his last match in a City shirt which is a sight that no Cityzen ever wanted to see, but what better way to sign off than to smash in the winner and give the club their first ever Champions League trophy. After all, he did say he'd only leave when they won the competition. Is there one more 93:20 moment left?

 

  • How to watch

The Champions League final kicks off at 20:00 BST and fans based in the UK can watch the game live on BT Sport 1, or for free by heading to BT Sport's YouTube channel.

VAVEL Logo