Champions League Final: Bet Chelsea-Manchester City
Soccer finals are volatile. They are high stakes. Constants are hard to come by.
One of the few is Pep Guardiola, and that’s a good place to start when betting on Saturday’s Champions League final in Porto between Manchester City and Chelsea.
Guardiola is a stunning 14-1 in his managerial career in the Cup final, including a 5-0 win over Manchester City. Granted, those earlier City triumphs came in national cups rather than the Champions League. But Guardiola has won the competition twice and hasn’t lost a cup final in over a decade. If he gets to a winner-take-all scenario, he takes it all.
While Chelsea have beaten City in two of their three games this season, their Premier League game on January 3 is the closest approach to the City strikerless line-up we’re likely to see on Saturday, and City have the floor with Chelsea wiped. It’s difficult to give too much importance to City’s defeats too, as their FA Cup semi-final defeat was their fifth game in 15 days on the calendar at this point and the other loss came when Chelsea desperate for a win and Citys Looking for a championship title anything but mathematically secured.
City is likely to win and the result will be assessed as such. If you are hesitant to support a team but want similarly strong odds, the regular time game will be decided at -350. Nine of the last twelve Champions League finals were decided without extra time, including the last four.
Champions League finals tend to be cheesy affairs and that is reflected in the odds. But Manchester City has (literally) never seen the Champions League final.
City have already scored 29 goals this calendar year and if they don’t score three goals, Chelsea’s thirst for adventure should help. Coach Thomas Tuchel mainly plays with three defenders, opting to throw numbers into the attack instead, and has promised a “positive” approach for Saturday’s final.
It can take a while for the first goal to come, but once it does, two more isn’t too much to ask.
Christian Pulisic scores in both halves (+3300 with BetMGM)
Don’t you feel like a city win? Lean into your national pride.
In any case, an American will win the Champions League on Saturday. One is more likely to play than the other and while Christian Pulisic struggled with injuries at Chelsea, he is now healthy and has played in big moments.
He scored a goal in the first semi-final of the Champions League against Real Madrid and his assist in the second helped Chelsea crack their ticket to the final. He also scored a crucial goal against Manchester City last summer and while we are 11 months away from that moment, it very much represents the kind of counter-brilliance that Chelsea are likely to need to score against City.
The chances of Pulisic scoring in both halves are great, but this is where the big payoff lies. If you support Chelsea, Hakim would be more certain to beat Ziyech City with +1300 points. He has scored one goal in each of the last two games against City and if Chelsea win a shutout is arguably the most direct route thanks to his vastly improved defense.
On the other hand, Ziyech’s record is exactly why City might pay special attention to him. Your call.
Riyad Mahrez scores more goals than Timo Werner (+310 with BetMGM)
Timo Werner has a reputation for missed opportunities. But this is more about Mahrez.
The winger was arguably City’s best player this spring and has scored in each of his last three Champions League games. He is creative and strong on the ball and a tricky match-up as he plays on the right side but moves with his left foot.
If Chelsea want to sit back, Mahrez can use his prowess to help unlock them and if they charge forward frequently he can take advantage of the space left behind.
And don’t forget: He only needs one more goal than Werner. Just hope Werner doesn’t choose Saturday to change his narrative.
Kevin de Bruyne scores from outside the box (+650 with BetMGM)
This could be the most alluring of all bets. De Bruyne is a master-class free-kick taker and City have scored 17 set pieces in the Premier League this season, while Chelsea have conceded 14 times. So when the game is more open and City is fouled in an advantageous position, expect de Bruyne to get some good looks.
All eight goals between the two teams this season came from the box, so the price of nines is high. But that would be a solid number even near 3 to 1. Use this chance at +650 all day.
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