Manchester City will look to win their first Champions League when they take the centre stage against Chelsea in Champions League final.
Manchester City will look to make history this weekend when they face Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League final at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto. Pep Guardiola’s side have enjoyed a brilliant season, winning the Premier League and Carabao Cup as well as reaching the FA Cup semi-finals. Guardiola has a fully fit squad to choose from – provided Ilkay Gundogan recovers from a thigh knock suffered on the eve of the final – as he looks to win his third Champions League title as manager, and City’s first as a club.
Even so, the City boss has three issues to resolve; left-back, central midfield, and his front three. Guardiola is likely to opt with a false nine approach, with Kevin de Bruyne the focal point supported by Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez.
The Premier League champions reinstated Ederson to the starting lineup against Everton after Scott Carson enjoyed a rare outing at Newcastle United, and the Brazilian will act as the last line of defense in Porto. Kyle Walker is all but guaranteed to start on the right-hand side of the defence, and a revitalized Oleksandr Zinchenko could keep Joao Cancelo out of the team to occupy the left flank of defence. Ruben Dias and John Stones will continue their ever-impressive partnership in the heart of the rearguard.
Rodri would be the natural fit for the number six role in a game of this magnitude, but the veteran Fernandinho put in an accomplished display in the semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain and could be rewarded with a place in the first eleven. Kevin De Bruyne is a certainty to feature, with the Belgian acting as the primary source of chance-creation for the Cityzens. Ilkay Gundogan should occupy the third midfield slot, with the German on the prowl to push forward and put the Chelsea defense under pressure.
Riyad Mahrez is nailed down to start on the right-wing while Phil Foden should get the nod on the left given his form, meaning Raheem Sterling will miss out. Guardiola, this term, has often preferred to operate without a natural striker and could follow a similar approach on Saturday with Bernardo Silva slotting in as the false-nine, alternating in the fixture with De Bruyne, with the Portuguese moving into midfield. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus will be options from the bench.
What are your predictions for the final match of the 2020/21 campaign?