Chelsea and Man City Champions League final predictions: How the Sky, BT and other experts see the big game going
MANCHESTER CITY and Chelsea meet in the Champions League final today in Lisbon, Portugal.
Both teams endured a tough and tricky ride on the road to Lisbon.
Man City – playing in their first Champions League final – managed to overcome two German teams back-to-back in the Round of 16 and quarter-finals respectively.
And annihilated last year's finalists and strong favourites PSG 4-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals.
As for Chelsea, they saw a new manager 'bounce' when Thomas Tuchel took over from club legend Frank Lampard in January.
The Blues comfortably saw of now LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid, and narrowly beat Porto in the Round of 16.
And impressively beat 13-time European champions Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
So, ahead of today's big game – who are the pundits and experts backing?
The Premier League icon, Dimitar Berbatov, wants to see a fairytale ending with Aguero scoring the winning penalty – as long as he doesn't try a panenka again.
Speaking to Betfair, he said: "Manchester City want to win the Champions League so badly.
"They have fought for this cup for many years now and that would be the cherry on top for them. It would make Guardiola more of a legend there than he already is now.
"Both managers have experience. Tuchel only has experience of losing in the Champions League final [with Paris Saint-Germain last season], while Guardiola has only won in the final [with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011].
"The fairytale ending is Aguero scoring the winning goal. All people from City will be rooting for that.
"Chelsea play as a big unit, they know how to attack and how to defend. They are a solid team which move on the pitch as a unit. You watch them and think you cannot go through them.
"I'm going 1-1 then a penalty shoot-out. I will go for a shoot-out and Aguero to score the winning penalty. I love a fairytale, just as long as he doesn't do a Panenka against Mendy again!"
Glenn Hoddle believes that the first goal in the final will prove to be vital.
Hoddle also believes that Mason Mount and Phil Foden will be particularly important, and whoever wins will be a massive boost for England at the Euros.
Speaking to Betfair, he said: "Chelsea are a very good side when they go 1-0 up. The first goal has never been more important than it will be in the Champions League final.
"Chelsea have problems when they go behind. If Chelsea go ahead they can win this game.
"Thomas Tuchel seems to have Pep Guardiola's number but you don't rely on that as a manager.
"To beat City three times in a season – following Tuchel's wins over Guardiola in the FA Cup and Premier League – is not going to be easy.
"Phil Foden and Mason Mount will both have a big influence on the game.
"The two England teammates will be kicking lumps out of each other for one night only and, for whoever wins, it will be a massive confidence boost going into the Euros.
Ex Chelsea and Man City left-back Wayne Bridge believes the game could go either way.
And thinks that Man City boss Pep Guardiola won't let his team's recent results against Chelsea faze them.
Speaking to bettingexpert.com, he said: "Chelsea might have a slight advantage because they know they can go and beat City.
"But they're two great teams and Pep won't let the recent matches affect him, but it could be at the back of his mind.
"I think it's going to be a tight game. Often City can go and storm a match but the way the Chelsea have played against them means it will be a tough match. It could go either way."
Mark Lawrenson is backing Man City to win their first Champions League inside 90 minutes.
Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "I'm going with City to win it, and win it in 90 minutes.
"Chelsea haven't faced City's big hitters yet, but they have already played a couple of different ways to beat Guardiola's side in the past few weeks.
"Yes, Tuchel got it absolutely right tactically each time but there won't be a surprise element to how he lines up his team this time. He has showed Pep his Plan A and his Plan B, and I am not sure there is a Plan C."
Ex Man City defender Joleon Lescott believes that no matter what happens tonight, Guardiola has nothing to prove.
The BT Sport pundit said: "I don't think anyone will judge Pep if he never wins the Champions League again.
"The fact is he has had a huge impact on Manchester City and the Premier League. I don't think his legacy will be tarnished in any way if he doesn't win it.
"What he has done for the way the game is viewed right through our league system – not just the Premier League, but teams in lower leagues trying to emulate the style that Pep has created.
"In terms of a bigger legacy, I don't think it will be tarnished but he can definitely enhance it."
The BT Sport pundit and ex Chelsea star Joe Cole thinks that the pressure is on Man City.
He said: "No doubt there will be people at Man City who will be feeling a lot more pressure to win it than at Chelsea.
"Chelsea have got over that hurdle and won it, it took them a long time because it's not easy and certain things need to go for you."
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SPECIAL 30/1 FOR MAN CITY OR 40/1 FOR CHELSEA TO LIFT THE TROPHY
WIN £50,000 with Dream Team Euros
Dream Team Euros is HERE!
The best fantasy football game to accompany Euro 2020 has arrived.
And you can play absolutely FREE for your chance to win the £50,000 jackpot.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR FREE!
Dream Team Euros
- £50,000 jackpot
- The best fantasy football game this summer
- Play in mini-leagues against your mates, colleagues, family members – and some hand-picked celebrities
- FREE to play
Ex Bayern Munich, Man Utd and Man City midfielder Owen Hargreaves is backing Man City to win the Champions League final.
Speaking to JOE, he said: "I think it feels like fate for City.
"It feels like their destiny. As good as Pep is and he hasn't won one of these for a long time, he will want to mark this occasion.
"I don't think he'll tinker with it this time around. With the defence he has and the goalkeeper I think you can pretty much guarantee who is going to play.
"I think City win 2-1."
⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
Source: Read Full Article