Man City v Chelsea: The Champions League final preview

Man City v Chelsea: The Champions League final preview

A season marked by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the shockwaves of the attempt to create a breakaway Super League reaches its climax on Saturday, when Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea clash in an all-English Champions League final in Porto.

It is the third final of Europe’s elite club competition to be played between two Premier League sides, and the second in just three seasons.

Have either team ever won the Champions League?
Chelsea have the experience of this stage in Europe before, having beaten Bayern Munich on penalties in the 2012 final. They have also won the Europa League twice since then.

Manchester City are making their first Champions League final appearance.

But both bosses are not new to this stage. City’s Spanish boss Pep Guardiola is looking to win the Champions League for a third time after steering Barcelona to triumphs in 2009 and 2011.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is seeking his first Champions League success. Last season, the German took Paris St-Germain to the final, losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

How have both sides performed this season?
City won the English Premier League as well as the League Cup, their third successive and fifth in seven seasons.

Chelsea, meanwhile, finished fourth in the league and lost the FA Cup final to Leicester.

Chelsea beat City twice this season, 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-finals and 2-1 away in the Premier League on May 8. But City defeated the Blues in London 3-1 in January.

What’s in it for the winners?
A trophy that stands 73.5cm (28.9 inches) tall and weighs 7.5kg (16.5 pounds).

Both sides have already qualified for next season’s tournament by virtue of their league position.

Will there be VAR?

How many substitutions are allowed?
Five. If the final, like the UEFA Europa League one, goes to extra time, both sides will be allowed to make a sixth one.

Which is the home team?
Manchester City following a draw made in March.

‘Massive opportunity’ for Chelsea
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta urged his teammates to make history and prove wrong all those who doubted the team’s worth during the season.

“We know this is a massive opportunity. It took nine years to be back in a final of the Champions League for the club, so really it is a big opportunity for everybody,” the Spanish defender said.

“We have beaten very good teams, we had very good performances. And it is the last step and we want to take it.

“Maybe a lot of people doubted about this group, about this club but we are back in the final of the Champions League and now the only thing that we have to do is to leave everything out there tomorrow. We want to make history and we have it in front of us.”

City will ‘suffer to win the final’
Guardiola, meanwhile, believes his side will have to “suffer” if they are to overcome Chelsea.

“I am pretty sure we have to suffer to win the final,” he told a news conference on Friday.

“Most of the time in finals you have to suffer. You have to be resilient. Adjust to the bad moments that are going to happen. At the end we have to be ourselves and do a good game.

“Everyone will handle it their own way.”