“It’s always difficult to play against City, Bayern or Barcelona when Pep is away. He builds a lot of faith and success and has a huge mentality to win,” Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel congratulated Guardiola on the eve of the 2020/21 season final. “Perhaps at the moment” City “are the strongest team in Europe in the world and have built a huge difference between us in the league …”, he continued. But the German did not shy away from reminding the world of his recent victories with a victory against the winners of the Premier League – “… but we closed the gap for 90 minutes at Wembley and again reduced the gap in Manchester.”
For the ninth place in the Premier League at the beginning of this year, the only job of the incoming coach Tuhel was to lift the Blues back in the competition for the Champions League next season. And the team really bounced back to the former PSG boss and despite losing to West Brom, Arsenal and Aston Villa in the phage end, Chelsea managed to grab the last place for the European Championship. They took further steps, reaching the FA Cup final, where they lost to Leicester and beat Atletico Madrid, FC Porto and Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final.
Tuchel’s Chelsea will now face the all-conquering super team and outspoken favorites Manchester City, who reached the Champions League final for the first time, while this will be Guardiola’s third, reaching the final in the 2010-11 season with Barcelona. Can Chelsea make three consecutive games against City? Here we will look at some of the factors that will determine the game in favor of Chelsea.
Brick to adhere to his preferred formation
The German, on the one hand, is in line with his 3-4-2-1 form since arriving at Stamford Bridge and will likely stick to the form for the biggest game of the 2020/21 season. Chelsea are worried about the fitness of N’Golo Cante and Edouard Mendy, but fans sighed with relief, as both were declared fit for the clash in Porto.
Therefore, Mandy will put on the gloves on Saturday night with the trio of Cesar Aspilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rüdiger. Reese James and Ben Chillwell in the defense of the wing, and Cante and Jorgeninho will deal with issues of midfield.
The lack of goals will be Chelsea’s main concern for the final, and Tuchel is calling for “more composure and more precision in decision-making and completion”. Timo Werner created problems for City with his pace and movement, but the German national team tried to transform his chances. But Hakim Zieh, Chelsea has the perfect option he had scored in both games, where Chelsea beat City. In addition to the two, Mason Mount will complete the lineup.
City’s high defensive line
Manchester United did so earlier this year, as did Chelsea in their FA Cup semi-final victory. Guardiola’s style of football has long been a problem – the high-pressure game also has a chance to become vulnerable when the attack disappears. And Chelsea have the secret of Werner and Zieh to use these chances.
How can Chelsea hold back City’s attack?
Azpilicueta is likely to return to his original position after Tuchel used him as a right-back against Leicester and Villa as a surprise strategy to counter Jamie Vardy’s speed with James. Moreover, James will be key in offering width on the right board, given that Riyadh Mahrez will keep Chillwell busy on the left. Another aspect that Chelsea should keep in mind is City’s accumulation of the first goal in the recent League game, where Ferran Torres fell deep to pull Rüdiger, thus creating the empty space that Premier League winners took advantage of. .
Although Ziyech played a key role in Chelsea’s double victory over City, Tuhel could start with Werner and Pulisic ahead and Mount as a floating midfielder who will disrupt City’s defensive plans, pulling them out of their positions among Kante’s threat.
Guardiola has a measure of Chelsea’s tactics
In a recent interview with BT Sport, before the Champions League final, Guardiola explained Tuhel’s strategy to Rio Ferdinand. “Why is Chelsea playing so well … because they have three central defenders nearby, the two holding midfielders who move in a relationship are close, the pockets are close, the striker and both [others in attack] are so close, “he explained.
“The distances are so close and at the same time so wide with the wings on the back, they are so good with the ball in the back.
“That’s why you can’t be close, because they push you [out wide] and they have very good players in the middle.
“That’s why it’s hard to face teams that want the ball and want to play with the ball. We’ve been trying to do that since day one.”
Brick is an optimist
“We are here to win the trophy. Maybe as slight outsiders, but that doesn’t change anything and we want to leave Porto with the trophy, “said the German on the eve of the final.