Best Bets on 2021 Champions League Final
|CL Final Tip||Odds (Click to bet)||Bet with|
|Man City to win inside 90 mins||1/1||888Sport|
|Under 2.5 goals||4/6||William Hill|
|Riyad Mahrez to score anytime||3/1||Unibet|
For the second time in three years, this season’s Champions League final is an all-English affair. Manchester City are seeking to win their first European Cup and their third trophy of the current campaign. Chelsea have won this competition before, but have yet to get their hands on a piece of silverware in 2020/21 after losing to Leicester City in the FA Cup final.
City, the Premier League champions, are the favourites to triumph in Porto. But Chelsea won at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month and will not have any fear about facing Pep Guardiola’s side. Whatever happens on May 29th, the Champions League final promises to go down as one of the best nights in the history of either Manchester City or Chelsea.
Route to the Final
City have won 11 of their 12 games in the Champions League this season. A 0-0 draw with Porto in the group stage remains the only blot on their copybook (and a minor one at that), with Guardiola’s men amassing 16 points from a possible 18 to qualify for the knockout phase in style.
City eased past Borussia Monchengladbach in the round of 16, winning 2-0 home and away. A pair of 2-1 victories over Borussia Dortmund followed in the quarter-finals, before they overcame Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 on aggregate in the last four.
Chelsea, then managed by Frank Lampard, topped Group E ahead of Sevilla, Krasnodar and Rennes. The Blues won four and drew two of their six outings, scoring 14 goals and conceding only two.
With Thomas Tuchel now in charge, Chelsea comfortably got the better of Atletico Madrid in the round of 16, then beat Porto 2-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals. A 1-1 draw with Real Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final left the tie on a knife-edge, but Chelsea were superb in the return fixture and deservedly won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
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Chelsea have beaten Manchester City twice in recent months. In the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, Hakim Ziyech’s strike was all that separated the two sides. In the Premier League earlier this month, Chelsea came from behind to run out 2-1 winners against the soon-to-be champions, for whom Sergio Aguero missed a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
City had an off-day in the FA Cup semi-final, but we cannot read too much into the Premier League game between the sides. Chelsea deserved the win but were facing a heavily rotated City team. The XI that Guardiola picks for the Champions League final will be the strongest available to him.
Previous Champions League Winners
|Bayern Munich||1-0||Paris Saint Germain||2020|
|Real Madrid||1-1*||Atletico Madrid||2016|
|Real Madrid||4-1||Atletico Madrid||2014|
|Bayern Munich||2-1||Borussia Dortmund||2013|
*Final decided via penalty shoot-out
City have made huge strides defensively since January. They are also likely to dominate possession here, which will make it difficult for Chelsea to create an abundance of chances. City have shown that, even without a conventional centre-forward, they have plenty of firepower in attack. Tuchel has done a fine job since taking the reins in west London, but at their best City are still a better team than Chelsea.
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With so much at stake, Champions League finals are often cagey affairs. Last season’s showpiece between Bayern Munich and PSG featured just a single goal. In 2019 Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0, with the Reds’ second coming in the 87th minute.
This year’s final is likely to follow a similar pattern. Tuchel’s Chelsea side are much stronger at the back than in attack, while City will not take any undue risks in search of goals. The first half of this game could consist of two teams feeling each other out, and one goal might be all it takes to win the trophy. With that in mind, under 2.5 is an appealing proposition – even at 4/6.
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Sergio Aguero will be dreaming of scoring the winning goal in his final game for Manchester City, but the Argentina international will almost certainly start the match on the bench. Guardiola has opted for a striker-less formation for much of the season, with Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden comprising a fluid attacking unit.
Mahrez has been the chief goal threat in the Champions League, cutting infield from the left flank to take shots, as well as popping up at the back post when the ball is on the other side of the field. Mahrez scored in the quarter-final second leg against Borussia Dortmund, then netted three goals in two meetings with PSG in the semi-finals. At 3/1, he is a good choice in the anytime scorer market.
From a Chelsea perspective, Mason Mount is perhaps the best pick to find the net. He is certain to start for Tuchel’s side and has benefitted from Timo Werner’s selfless running in recent weeks. The England international is available at odds of 27/5 with Unibet.
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