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This is the seventh Champions League final contested by teams from the same nation, with four of five since 2008 seeing the side placed higher domestically also triumph in this tournament.
That includes both all-English affairs, as Man Utd beat Chelsea on penalties in 2008 and Liverpool comfortably dealt with Tottenham in 2019.
These finals can quite often be tense affairs, with five of the last six between sides from the same league featuring fewer than three goals, as the exception came when Bayern bagged a late winner against Dortmund in 2013.
Man City’s defensive prowess has been handed a major boost this term by newly crowned player of the year Ruben Dias, while Chelsea have made obvious improvement in that department following the arrival of Thomas Tuchel.
Both sides have conceded just four times each en route to the final, never conceding more than once in a single game, so we wouldn’t anticipate an explosive start.
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Under 2.5 Goals
Under Tuchel, 23 of 29 fixtures so far have seen under 2.5 goals land, with 21 of these seeing at least one team fail to land a blow, as Chelsea themselves registered 18 clean sheets.
This has been even more pronounced against sides of real quality, as facing the top-half finishers domestically, as well as European encounters with Atletico, Porto and Real Madrid, a massive 15 of 17 matches have featured a maximum of two strikes.
Tuchel is also gunning for a hat-trick of victories over Pep Guardiola as Chelsea boss, having previously ended Man City’s quadruple hopes and then claimed a crucial league win.
However, Guardiola didn’t field his absolute strongest side in either clash, but with Ilkay Gundogan his only injury concern and expected to be fit in any case, that won’t be the case this time around.
Chelsea haven’t been at their best since that last encounter, losing three of four games ahead of this fixture and going five without a clean sheet. They’ll also be sweating on the fitness of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who had to be replaced at half-time against Aston Villa after colliding with the woodwork. N’Golo Kante missed that game with an ongoing hamstring complaint, but should recover in time for this one.
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Man City To Beat Chelsea
Aside from Chelsea’s recent dip, Guardiola’s record in cup finals encourage us to back the favourites. The Spaniard has won 14 of 15 major cup finals across his time with Barcelona, Bayern and Man City, while teams he led went nearly nine years without even conceding a goal between 2011 and 2020.
By contrast, Tuchel has won just three of his seven major finals as a manager. However, his side were clear favourites on each occasion as Dortmund beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFB Pokal in 2017, while PSG triumphed over Saint-Etienne in the 2020 Coupe de France and then again a week later facing Lyon in the Coupe de la Ligue.
More worryingly, he lost out to Bayern in last season’s Champions League final and was most recently denied by Leicester in the FA Cup.
There’s been a clear favourite heading into each of the past 11 Champions League finals, with the only upset being Chelsea’s win on penalties over Bayern in 2012.
There were two occasions when the favourites needed either extra time or penalties to triumph, as Real Madrid beat Atletico in extra time in 2014 and then again in a shootout in 2016, so City look well placed for the win.