Uefa Champions League Final - Saturday
With two EPL teams facing off against each other in the Champions League final this Saturday, it would be interesting to see how these teams fared in their previous meetings against one another this season. This should give us a strong sense of what to expect on Saturday.
January 3rd, 2021 – Man. City 3 – 1 Chelsea
It wasn’t actually until the new year that we got our first action between these two clubs with City prevailing by a two goal margin. Lampard was still Chelsea’s coach here and the result was expected as Chelsea were a poor team under him. Under Tuchel, they have improved greatly which we will get to later on. City outshot Chelsea 18-9 with Bruyne having the most at five. This was followed by several of his teammates at three – Foden, Silva, and Gundogan. Crossing wise, this game was pretty mediocre in terms of that. Bruyne had a measly three crosses, and let us keep in mind that Mahrez did not start this game. Two Chelsea players actually led in this department with four crosses, Chilwell and Ziyech.
As for the stats, it was honestly a poor DFS game. A lot of action in the middle of the pitch, not much action in the offensive zones aside from the goals scored early by City. Corners and crosses may not be your best friend here. Sticking with the main captain choice in Bruyne may be your best bet.
April 17th, 2021 – Chelsea 1 – 0 Man. City
And here’s the change in coaching ability. Chelsea beats City in the FA Cup semi-final. Mind you, City rotated some of their players with the likes of Foden, Gundogan, Mahrez, Ederson, and Silva on the bench. Bruyne also only played a half. It was another odd game with limited DFS production. You had the likes of Foden and Bruyne splitting set pieces with Cancelo putting in a game-high seven crosses, more likely due to the fact they were down in the game. Again, City had double the shots of their opponent. It seems to me that a showdown line consisting of four City players and two Chelsea players will be popular. For what it is worth, Rodri had a game high four shots.
May 8th, 2021 – Man. City 1 – 2 Chelsea
Oh my word, another Chelsea win under their new coach. Let’s recall this was the game right after both teams secured a berth in the final. Tired legs were a thing and rotated squads were used. This truly was in essence a friendly match with most of the main players sitting out.
A game where once again, little action aside from the centre of the park. City had the more glaring opportunities but failed to capitalize. Under 10 corners seems like a good bet.
Pep needs this win as a manager and although this is Tuchel’s second consecutive trip to the final, I must say it will end in disappointment again. A one-nil win might be it though. Don’t expect an exciting game.