Here we go - Guardiola Vs Tuchel III
It is the big one this Saturday evening as Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel lock horns once again, the German has already beaten the Spaniard’s Manchester City twice this season but he would trade both of those victories for this one in a heartbeat. Guardiola has been questioned for his lack of success in the Champions League since leaving Barcelona, this is his chance to silence all of those doubters. Often accused of overthinking his tactics in big games, it will be interesting to see how City set up. Chelsea will enjoy the underdog tag, midway through the season under Frank Lampard reaching a CL final would have been a distant dream but such has been Tuchel’s impact the Blues will be raring to go.
Even though Chelsea had to rely on Tottenham Hotspur doing them a favour by denying Leicester City a top four finish to the Blues’ advantage, they actually ranked second in terms of expected goals. Their processes had them trending as a top three side in almost all of Frank Lampard’s reign at the club, sustaining that along with shoring up the backline to an unrecognisable extent, has been a huge part of Tuchel’s transformation of the side. Form will be talked about a lot coming into this fixture, but a final is often a leveller, with little to separate the teams on recent head-to-heads we should be expecting this one to turn out in a similar fashion.
Manchester City were comfortably the best team in the Premier League this season and made incredibly light work of Paris Saint-Germain in the semi final. They finished the league campaign with a 5-0 win over Everton where Chelsea ended up losing to Aston Villa. City will see this as their time but the history books would make them relative novices at this stage of the competition.
The last Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain looked set to be a goal fest and yet there was only one goal in the match, so I will be avoiding a goals based pick selection this time around.
- City have scored in nine of ten.
- City have conceded in six of ten.
- City have seen both teams score in five of ten.
- City have seen over 2.5 goals in six of ten.
- Chelsea have scored in seven of ten.
- Chelsea have conceded in six of ten.
- Chelsea have seen both teams score in four of ten.
- Chelsea have seen over 2.5 goals in three of ten.
It is a mouth-watering encounter but I am going to side with the more consistent team and that is the team who have won three of the last four Premier League titles.