Manchester City – Chelsea will be an epic UEFA Champions League final on Saturday (start time 3pm ET, live analysis online via NBCSports.com) in Porto.
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Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel have huge respect for each other, and both City and Chelsea have so many stars, especially in attack, but their success this season has been built on defense.
Guardiola has led City to the Premier League and League Cup, while Tuchel led Chelsea to the top four after arriving in January but they lost in the FA Cup final to Leicester in recent days.
Both clubs have knocked off giants on their way to the final, with City beating Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals and PSG in the semifinals, plus Chelsea beat Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid to get to that stage.
City are the heavy favorites to win a first-ever European Cup, but Chelsea have beaten them in the FA Cup and Premier League over the last six weeks and may hold a psychological edge.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester City – Chelsea in the Champions League final.
Champions League news
Manchester City injury news
Guardiola and City have no real injury concerns, which has been one of the main reasons they kicked on midseason and have been imperious in the second half of the campaign.
Chelsea injury news
Chelsea have two big injury worries, as both N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy are battling to be fit for the final. Chelsea’s goalkeeper injured his ribs and came off in their defeat at Aston Villa on the final day of the season, but scans have shown no serious damage and he could be fit. If not, Kepa Arrizabalaga will start in goal.
As for Kante, well, his importance to Chelsea is immeasurable and if he fails to recover from a hamstring injury (he has taken part in training this week but limped off against Leicester 10 days ago) that would be a hammer blow for Tuchel.
What they’re saying
Kai Havertz on Chelsea’s mindset: “We’ve picked up a lot of self-belief over the last few months from our good results and how we’ve played. Self-belief is generally very important in football and ours has improved a lot, so it’s made a difference. It’s about giving your all in the game, having fun, and hopefully winning. Being in the tunnel, walking out, hearing the anthem, and then giving your all for over 90 minutes…it’s a childhood dream which has been reached but not yet fulfilled. We still need to win and we’ll do everything we can to do just that.”
Ruben Dias on City’s winning mentality gaining momentum: “We have won the Premier League title but I can’t celebrate it enough because I’m already thinking about the next title. It’s difficult sometimes because you’re just into it. I heard someone at the club say not long ago: ‘We live in the middle of the storm!’ Sometimes, we don’t even have time to celebrate or think too much about things. We just move on. After you play a season, game after game every three days, the mentality is just that and it’s hard to shut off. We must not shut off. We just let it go. It’s beautiful what is happening – especially to win the Premier League and be in the Champions League Final.”
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Manchester City are the big favorites at -110, while Chelsea are worth a punt at +340. The draw is +235. Seeing how close these games have been in recent times, that could be a smart move.
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This will be a lot tighter than we think but I’m going for City’s attacking class to shine through. They beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge earlier this season when they were at full strength, and in recent games against Chelsea (which they lost) they’ve been missing some key players. Kevin de Bruyne in a false nine will cause havoc and Chelsea have some big injury concerns as players may not be fully fit. Manchester City 3-1 Chelsea.
How to watch, stream and start time
Manchester City – Chelsea: How to watch, odds, injury news, start time, prediction originally appeared on NBCSports.com