In the second installment of Man City Square’s buildup to the UEFA Champions League, this piece will argue why Chelsea will defeat Manchester City in this season’s Champions League Final. (Next week’s third and final part of this series will argue why Manchester City will win the final. The first part of this series can be found here.)
More from Champions League
- My Manchester City UCL Group Stage predictions
- Manchester City’s Submitted UCL Squad Confirmed
- Man City’s 23/24 UCL group decided
- UCL Draw : Who are Man City’s possible opponents?
- Manchester City’s busy transfer week rounded-up
Chelsea look like a reformed side under manager Thomas Tuchel. Since the German’s appointment at the end of January, the Blues have been superb. Over the span of three months, Tuchel beat the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Atlético de Madrid, Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester City. The Blues are on the verge of a top-four finish, and they will compete in two cup finals this month. With this in mind, why might Chelsea win the 2020/21 Champions League Final?
First, Chelsea’s defensive record under Tuchel has been superb. The Blues have played 26 matches in all competitions since Tuchel’s first game in charge on 27 January. During this game span, Chelsea have kept 18 clean sheets. They have only conceded 12 goals in 26 matches, albeit five of these 12 goals were conceded in a single match.
These results led to some impressive victories. Chelsea shut out the likes of Atlético (twice), Liverpool, Manchester City, and Real Madrid. These performances helped Chelsea advance to this season’s FA Cup Final and Champions League Final.
Overall, Chelsea have brushed past some difficult opponents in convincing fashion, and their defensive performances have revamped their season. Chelsea may ver well end the season with a top four finish and two pieces of silverware, something that did not seem possible in January.
Competitive Run to the End of the Season
Chelsea have a difficult run as the 2020/21 season comes to an end. At the start of May, Chelsea hosted Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League’s Semi-Final. The Blues then had back-to-back English Premier League matches against Manchester City and Arsenal. Chelsea won two of these three matches, they advanced to the Champions League Final, and they extended their lead in the EPL’s top four.
Chelsea will now face Leicester City in a doubleheader. First, the Blues will face the Foxes in the FA Cup Final on 15 May. Three days later, Chelsea will host Leicester on 18 May in a battle for a top-four finish. Should Chelsea win the league match, they will be in prime position to finish in the top four this season, thus booking a place in next season’s Champions League. A domestic cup victory would certainly boost their confidence and motivation ahead of the Champions League Final.
Chelsea will have a difficult set of games leading up to the Champions League Final, but this will allow them to stay fit and ready for the important match. Given Manchester City have an easier set of league matches leading up to the final (Newcastle, Brighton and Hove Albion, and Everton), this gives Chelsea an edge.
Recent Results and Mind Games
Finally, Chelsea defeated Manchester City twice over the past month. In April, Chelsea faced Manchester City in the FA Cup Semi-Final. While both clubs fielded weaker teams, Chelsea were the more convincing side in the tie. Their 1-0 victory put an end to any discussions about a potential City quadruple this season, and Chelsea advanced to their second FA Cup Final in as many seasons.
More recently, Chelsea defeated Manchester City in an EPL match in what was a game that the Blues needed to win in order to keep their hopes alive for a top four finish. City took the lead in the first half, and could have taken a commanding lead into halftime. Recent Chelsea signing Eduard Mendy, however, made a big stop against a Sergio Agüero penalty, and this allowed the Blues to come back in the second half of the match. Despite Manchester City’s dominance, Chelsea stole the game in the dying minutes of extra time. The victory extended Chelsea’s position in the top four, and it forced City to wait an extra day to be crowned the 2020/21 Champions of England.
Having defeated Manchester City twice in quick succession, this will give Chelsea a psychological edge over their opponents. The Blues will know that they are capable of defeating the Sky Blues, and this has demonstrated that perhaps City are not as invincible as they appear. City will also want to make amends for their two loses, and this desire may force them to lose focus.
Simply put, Chelsea have been on a good run of form (despite the fluke results against West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal). The Blues know they have what it takes to defeat Manchester City, and a potential FA Cup victory and top four finish would give them an additional edge as they prepare to face Manchester City in this season’s Champions League Final.
Possible Starting XI for the Champions League Final
Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rüdiger; Azpilicueta, Kanté, Jorginho, Chilwell; Werner, Havertz, Mount