The UEFA Champions League final is here and Manchester City will do battle with Chelsea in Porto on Saturday for this season’s European crown. You can catch the action on CBS and Paramount+, which will feature a Star Cam that tracks one player for each club.
Pep Guardiola is looking for his third title as coach in City’s first final ever, but it would be the Spaniard’s first win in a decade after his previous Barcelona successes. Thomas Tuchel is back in the final after losing out to Bayern Munich with Paris Saint-Germain last summer, but the German is yet to win his maiden title.
Who will come out on top? See how your prediction stacks up against those of our finest. The bar was set high for our pundits in the UEFA Europa League final picks with one exact prediction of a 1-1 draw and Unai Emery’s Villarreal winning on penalties.
Let’s get to the predictions:
Manchester City vs. Chelsea
Date: Saturday, May 29 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: Paramount+, CBS
William Hill Sportsbook Odds: Manchester City -112, Draw +240, Chelsea +340
Rongen’s take: After all, the previous two UCL finals in which Chelsea played were decided by penalties. Pick: Manchester City 1, Chelsea 1 (City win on penalty kicks)
Romano’s take: Pep Guardiola’s team is in extraordinary form, and Chelsea can suffer in defense with the quality of Manchester City. I have Pep bringing the big cup to the Cityzens for the first time.
Pick: Manchester City 3, Chelsea 1
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Echegaray’s take: There’s every reason for Chelsea fans to feel confident. After all, this matchup has leaned to their favor this season as Thomas Tuchel has beaten Man City twice already (once in the FA Cup semifinal, the other in the league). So if we;re questioning if Chelsea can do it again, the answer is yes, of course they can
But here’s the problem: It heavily depends on a few players and how they perform on the day. First of all, Edouard Mendy’s availability remains a major talking point. He’s that good of a goalkeeper that he makes it that much harder for Man City to get anything out of the game. If he’s out, that worries me. Kepa Arrizabalaga is a fine stopper but he can also be a nervous one. In addition, and most importantly, N’Golo Kante. Everything works around him.
I did predict Chelsea in the final a while back and I even said this could be a win for them … but after seeing my colleague James Benge’s interviews this week, I see a sense of confidence and calm demeanor with Man City that makes me feel they’re so sure of themselves and this victory. Pep Guardiola seems to know exactly what he wants this time around and his squad seems to be ready for the task at hand.
I just think this trophy — the one Guardiola craves for with City — is the final step of their journey this season … and they’re not going to want to walk away empty handed even if I have it 1-1 after 90 minutes. Pick: Manchester City 2, Chelsea 1 (a.e.t.)
Johnson’s take: Pep Guardiola and his men have not come this far to throw it away now and despite their losses against Thomas Tuchel’s Blues of late, I think that the Citizens will get it done and edge a tight affair. Pick: Manchester City 2, Chelsea 1
Benge’s take: Thomas Tuchel may well have the better head-to-head record in meetings between these two in 2021 but he arguably has only seen an approximation of City’s best XI. Indeed you could argue that in the Premier League game between these two, Pep Guardiola was more concerned with keeping some of his trump cards hidden from view and trying out alternative options like a back three.
Chelsea are truly exceptional defensively and they won’t give up easy goals. If Timo Werner or Christian Pulisic can unlock the space behind City’s high line they will have a good chance to win this on the break. But you have to make Guardiola’s side favorites when they have so many ways to win and players that could catch fire and swing the contest in their favor. Pick: Manchester City 2, Chelsea 0
Gonzalez’s take: Two elite defenses, but just one elite attack. Timo Werner struggles big time again, and City capture their first Champions League crown as Phil Foden nets the winner. Pick: Manchester City 2, Chelsea 1
Herrera’s take: Pep Guardiola’s side takes the victory and becomes champions of Europe on strong possession play and frustratingly good hold up play along the front lines to pick up the victory. Pick: Manchester City 2, Chelsea 1
Goodman’s take: City has just been too good this season, and it’s finally Pep Guardiola’s time to get another Champions League trophy. Chelsea have enough talent to hang tough, and both sides will quite possibly settle on conservative game plans which means the game won’t come to life until somebody scores an unlikely goal. But when it does, City’s firepower will carry the day. Pick: Manchester City 2, Chelsea 1
Thanks for checking us out, and good luck with your picks!