Marcotti: Manchester City are a better side, but obviously Chelsea beat them in their FA Cup semi-final last month. I’ll be curious to see what happens this weekend when Chelsea visit City in the Premier League. Will either manager show his hand? Logic suggests City, but it’s not lost on anyone that Pep Guardiola in recent seasons has sometimes overthought things in big games and paid the price. Right now, I’ll lean toward City because they have quality and work rate. But it’s very close.
Ogden: Chelsea. As much as everything points to Manchester City in terms of their dominance of the Premier League, unbeaten record in this season’s Champions League and the sense of destiny that seems to have attached itself to a club that was initially banned from this year’s competition by UEFA, there can be no denying that Chelsea has the players, coach, and self-belief to win in Istanbul. Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final victory against City last month was more one-sided than the 1-0 winning margin suggested and coach Thomas Tuchel will know he has devised a game-plan in a big game to beat Guardiola. City are vulnerable against teams who break quickly on the counter-attack, and Chelsea have that quality in abundance. They also have a top-quality goalkeeper in Edouard Mendy, an outstanding midfielder in N’Golo Kante and the emerging talents of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz further forward. I just feel that Chelsea’s pace and energy in the attacking third will decide the final, so it will be Chelsea’s second Champions League crown to keep City waiting for their first.
Laurens: To start with, I think it will be a super tactical final, which often means quite defensive. However, we should see it differently. This is a tactical battle between two genius tacticians, where the positional game will be more important than anything else and where any little mistake could cost so much that you will play to make sure you don’t make any slip-ups. Indeed, both teams are so good at exploiting opposition errors, as we saw in the semi-finals. That said, I think Chelsea will win it because their back five is perfect against the City attack. City, as we saw in the FA Cup semi-final, struggled to stop Chelsea’s build-up play from the back. Having Kante in his current form is like playing with 12 players. Tuchel is the first manager to reach the Champions League final two seasons in a row with two different clubs and this time, like for Thiago Silva, he will get to lift the trophy. Silva, by the way, never made it to the semi-finals until he was 35, and will now play a second final in a row at 36! Incredible.
Author: Sports Reporter