The UEFA Champions League final is nearly here as Manchester City and Chelsea prepare to do battle in Porto’s all-Premier League affair on Sunday that will signal the end of European soccer’s club season. You can watch all the action on CBS and Paramount+.
Pep Guardiola’s men were crowned champions in England weeks ago while Thomas Tuchel’s side confirmed their UCL qualification via their final league position just last weekend.
Who will come out on top in Portugal? We answer some of the most frequently asked questions so you are well-briefed ahead of Sunday’s massive showdown on Paramount+.
Why is the Champions League final in Porto?
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still being felt by European soccer and after last year’s Final 8 in Lisbon, Portugal has once again been selected as the host with Porto this time providing the venue. UEFA opted to change the location from Istanbul, Turkey, once the identity of the two teams was known and due to travel links from England being open, this decision was taken in order to allow City and Chelsea fans to attend. Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg had originally been slated for the 2021 final and that has now been pushed back to 2022.
What time is the Champions League final?
Well, that depends on where you live. On the east coast of the United States, the match kicks off at 3 p.m. and if you live anywhere else in the world, here’s a handy guide to figure out when you need to tune in. Here’s all the info you need for how to watch the match:
Date: Saturday, May 29 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Estádio do Dragão — Porto, Portugal
TV: CBS | Live stream: Paramount+
William Hill Sportbook Odds: Man City -114, Draw +240, Chelsea +340
Should I tune into CBS early?
Absolutely! CBS and Paramount+ have you covered for unrivaled in-depth build-up ahead of the game with a pregame show featuring Kate Abdo, Jamie Carragher, Micah Richards and more. There is also a virtual opening ceremony featuring American artist Marshmello to look forward to.
Why are Manchester City, not Chelsea, the “home” team?
For administrative purposes, there is always a “home” team at a final — even if it is held at a neutral venue. It helps with scenarios such as kit clashes by dictating that the “away” side should wear their alternative strip. In City and Chelsea’s case, this was determined by an additional draw that was held after the quarterfinal and semifinal draws were made.
What happens if the match is level after 90 minutes?
Despite “home and away” teams for this match, there will be 30 minutes of extra time if the scores are level at the end of 90 minutes and a penalty shootout if it is still a tie at the end of 120 minutes. In the event that this goes beyond 90 minutes, an additional sixth substitute will be allowed on top of the regulation five with both teams possessing 12-man substitute benches.
Have either Chelsea or Manchester City won the Champions League before?
Yes, Chelsea will be playing in their third final after their 2008 defeat to Manchester United in Moscow and their 2012 success over Bayern Munich at the German giants’ Allianz Arena home. For City, this is new territory as they had only ever reached the semi-finals before this. Of note, Tuchel will be overseeing his second consecutive Champions League final as the first coach in history to reach back-to-back finals with different teams, but he has never won it. As for Guardiola, he has won it twice as a coach with Barcelona in 2008-09 and 2010-11, as well as once as a player — also with Barca. Should the Spaniard succeed with City, he will end a 10-year wait for his third UCL title.
Who has been in stronger form, Manchester City or Chelsea?
City are unbeaten in this edition with just one draw against host club FC Porto at Estadio do Dragao back in December while Chelsea have drawn three times in total and also lost at home to the Portuguese in the second leg of their quarterfinal. Advantage City, at least on paper, although Chelsea have already beaten City twice under Tuchel.
Both teams have Americans in their squad — has this ever happened before?
Yes and no. Yes, technically there has been an American in a winning Champions League squad before as Jovan Kirovski was a Borussia Dortmund player when they won in 1997. However, the former USMNT international was not actually in the match squad on the day of BVB’s 3-1 win over Juve in Munich.
What would a Manchester City win mean?
It would be a first Champions League title for the Premier League titleholders and the ultimate validation of their project under Emirati ownership since their 2008 takeover. Also, if successful, they will become the sixth English club to win it.
What would a Chelsea win mean?
It could be a second title to go with their 2012 success as they are currently one of only five English clubs along with Liverpool, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest to have won the prize. Either way, England will have a 14th UCL crown to move to within four of Spain’s record of 18.
Will another Premier League team qualify for next season’s UCL with both of these teams finishing in the top four?
No. While the Premier League can have a maximum of five participants, an extra place will not be passed down to Leicester City after they finished fifth in the 2020-21 season.
Who is the Champions League referee?
The 44-year-old Antonio Mateu Lahoz is known as an entertaining character and has refereed at FIFA World Cup level in 2018 as well as Champions League semi-finals of the past.
Where can I read more about the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea?
I’m so happy you asked. We have extensive coverage of the lead up to the final right here. From managers to players, from statistics to tactics, to everything in between, we’ve got you covered.