Updated: Jan 14
On Saturday, Manchester City will play against Chelsea FC in what is only the third all-English UEFA Champions League final in history. After an attempt to move the game into England, UEFA settled on a move to Estadio do Dragao in Porto, Portugal, which will allow an allotted number of fans from both clubs to attend. 12,000 fans in total are expected to be in attendance in this stadium which normally entertains 50,000.
During the 2021 season, these two clubs met three times, with Chelsea wining two of the three, including their most recent match on May 8. Still, Manchester City (-114) are the favorites to win the club’s first ever UCL title, while Chelsea (+334), who won x times in club history, last won in 2012.
Both teams won big matches against difficult opponents to get here. Manchester City defeated Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals and Paris St.-Germain in the semifinals. Chelsea’s path may have been even harder. They defeated Atletico Madrid, La Liga champions, in the quarterfinals and powerhouse Real Madrid in the semifinals.
Pep Guardiola’s City is the best defensive team in the world, but no star player shines brighter than midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian plays a very deep attacking midfield role with elite level passing, vision, and deep shooting.
New Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, has also proven that he can lead one of the best defensive sides in the world. Since taking over as manager in January of this year, Chelsea has 12 clean sheets in 21 matches. Even more impressive is the goalkeeping of new keeper Edouard Mendy, who was not well-known a year ago when he played for Stade Rennes in his native country of France.
As an American, the most exciting storyline is having not one, but two Americans competing in the UCL Finals for the first time ever. Better yet, with an American on both rosters, this what the first American will ever win UCL gold, no matter what. Chelsea winger, Christian Pulisic, is a young generational talent and captain of the USMNT, while Manchester City’s backup goalkeeper, Zac Steffan, starts in goal for the USMNT. Either way, this Saturday will mark a major accomplishment and historic moment in US “Soccer” history.
Full disclosure, we are Chelsea supporters here, but if you read our content you know how we feel about Pep and City. No club in the world is on their level. We will be picking against our heart this weekend – Manchester City over Chelsea for UCL glory.