Date: Saturday 29th, May, 2021
Stadium Estadio do Dragao
Referee Antonio Mateu (Spain)
Chelsea boss Tuchel does have a couple of concerns to manage for the showpiece event, though, as first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy had to be replaced at half time against Villa after colliding with the post.
Tuchel is optimistic that Mendy will be able to pull on the gloves this weekend, though, and N’Golo Kante is also expected to be fit despite missing the final day of the Premier League season with a thigh issue.
Cesar Azpilicueta has had his red card at Villa Park rescinded, although that would not have affected his participation in the final, and the Spaniard should take his rightful place in the back three alongside Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger.
A fit-again Mateo Kovacic will aim to demote Jorginho to the bench after playing a minor role in Real Madrid’s previous Champions League successes, and Kante ought to be well enough to man the engine room.
Mount is untouchable in the front three, and Tuchel has two huge calls to make in the final third, but compatriots Timo Werner and Kai Havertz could be trusted in Porto.
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kovacic, Kante, Chilwell; Mount, Werner; Havertz
Chelsea Champions League form: WWWLDW
Chelsea form (all competitions): WWLLWL
Man City boss Guardiola once again has the unenviable task of selecting from a fully-fit squad for Saturday’s final, as Ilkay Gundogan is expected to brush off a recent injury scare sustained in training.
Gundogan should therefore man the midfield alongside Bernardo Silva – who is aiming to extend his unbeaten Champions League streak to 27 games – while Fernandinho’s exemplary showing against PSG could see him rewarded with a start over Rodri.
Joao Cancelo was nowhere to be seen against Everton and is facing an uphill battle to displace Oleksandr Zinchenko on the left-hand side, with Kyle Walker all but guaranteed to start on the right.
Guardiola’s policy of leaving out a recognised number nine in the Champions League continues to work wonders, and the City boss has affirmed that there can be no room for sentiment, so Sergio Aguero may be forced to cope with a substitute outing in his final game for the club.
Aguero on the bench would allow Kevin De Bruyne to function as a false nine with Foden and Mahrez alongside him, with the former set to become the third-youngest English player to feature from the first whistle in the Champions League final.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Foden
Manchester City Champions League form: WWWWWW
Manchester City form (all competitions): WWLWLW
Head To Head
Saturday’s Champions League final will mark the 169th meeting between Man City and Chelsea in all competitions, with the Blues boasting 70 wins compared to the Citizens’ 59.
Tuchel got the better of Guardiola in the FA Cup semi-finals before overseeing a 2-1 success at the Etihad earlier this month, although Aguero’s comical Panenka miss contributed to City’s downfall on the day.
Despite his fluffed penalty, soon-to-be Barcelona attacker Aguero has struck 15 times in 22 games against Chelsea for City, and the two clubs have not met in Europe since the 1970-71 Cup Winners’ Cup, where the capital side overcame their English rivals in the semi-finals before ultimately winning the tournament.
Prediction: Chelsea 0-2 Manchester City