Curtains will officially fall on the 2020/21 season in Europe this weekend with the blockbuster event of the campaign, the finals of the UEFA Champions League, set to take place on Saturday night in Porto.
It will be an all-English affair as Premier League champions Manchester City will square off against rivals Chelsea in the showpiece event at Estadio do Dragao.
Futaa's Best Tip: Man City to win at FT
- Manchester City have lost only two of their last 30 Champions League fixtures.
- Chelsea have lost three of their last four matches.
- Under 3.5 goals have been scored in 23 of Chelsea’s last 29 fixtures.
- Chelsea have notched one or fewer goals 15 times since Tuchel took the reins.
City can make history in Portugal
Newcomers to the UCL final City have never been closer to winning the trophy they so desperately want, and while a pair of recent defeats to Chelsea may imply Thomas Tuchel holds the solution to solving Pep Guardiola's tactical conundrums, the Blues' league and cup successes should have minimal influence on Saturday's battle.
In both their FA Cup semi-final and Premier League losses to Chelsea in April and May, Guardiola selected much-changed City teams, albeit they were still a Sergio Aguero Panenka penalty away from upsetting the Blues in their most recent clash.
City should be a more formidable opponent now that all of their major guns have returned, and their perfect record of 11 victories and one tie in 12 European matches this season shows they are now ready to win the Champions League.
Pep Guardiola has won 14 of his 15 major finals, and on Saturday, he may make history by becoming the first coach to win the Champions League three times.
Game of fine margins in Porto?
Over 2.5 goals have been scored in 11 of the last 20 Champions League finals, but the match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Estádio Do Drago is expected to be closer.
Since his January hiring, Thomas Tuchel has made good defensive foundations a crucial element of his Chelsea plan, and the Blues have scored under 2.5 goals in 23 of their previous 29 games as a result.
Man City, on the other hand, has maintained eight clean sheets in 12 Champions League games this season, and with FWA Player of the Year Ruben Dias at center-back alongside a rejuvenated John Stones, the Citizens' backline could be difficult to penetrate again on Saturday.
With so much on the line and both sets of players eager to avoid making fate-altering errors, expect a chess-like fight in Portugal, so back both defenses to come to the fore and under 2.5 goals to be scored.
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko; Fernandinho, Gündoğan, Silva; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Foden
Chelsea: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rüdiger; James, Kovačić, Kanté, Chilwell; Mount, Werner; Havertz