Manchester City and Chelsea will meet in an all-English UEFA Champions League final whilst Manchester United will take on Spanish outfit Villarreal in this season’s Europa League final.
Pep Guardiola’s 2020-21 Premier League champions have been among the favourites for the Champions League during each of his five seasons in charge at the Etihad Stadium and this looks like being the one he will finally bring home the trophy.
Three days earlier and Manchester United will head into their final, also as the pre-game favourites. Here’s a look at each game:
Manchester City vs Chelsea
Manchester City have been the team to beat in England this season, winning both the league title and the EFL Cup. But it was Chelsea who denied them of a domestic treble last month with a 1-0 victory in their FA Cup semi-final.
The Blues have been one of the form teams both domestically and in Europe since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard at the end of January. The move appears to have paid off as they currently sit in the top four, have an FA Cup final versus Leicester City in a week’s time and then finish the month, and the season, looking to win the big one.
City are currently priced at 1/1 to win in 90 minutes which may not seem too appealing given their recent FA Cup result, and therefore many fans may prefer using live gambling sites with both sportsbook and casino to back the action in-play when they feel more confident in either side.
Chelsea do have the tougher fixture list leading into this game as they meet in the Premier League this weekend, then face Arsenal in a London derby midweek and the FA Cup final versus Leicester City in the middle of the month.
The West London club are also battling to finish in the top four in order to ensure they qualify for next season’s Champions League.
City have ran away with the Premier League meaning Guardiola’s focus can be on the Champions League final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul at the end of the month.
This game will be two tactically assured managers and a group of world class players on display that could quite simply be determined by one moment of magic. Hakim Ziyech produced that in their FA Cup encounter last month but with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez, City are rightfully the favourites.
Prediction: Man City 1-0 Chelsea
Manchester United vs Villarreal
Like their city neighbours, Manchester United have been the bookmakers’ favourites to win European silverware since they first joined the competition, albeit by finishing third in their Champions League group. So far, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side haven’t been a let-down.
The Red Devils thrashed Real Sociedad 4-0 in the Round of 32 before a less than assured 2-1 victory over AC Milan that had rested a number of stars for the first leg. A 4-0 aggregate victory over Granada in the quarter-finals set up a tie versus AS Roma in the last four in which the Premier League side obliterated their Italian opposition 8-5 on aggregate.
Manchester United should have a top four place wrapped up before the final game of the season which will allow the Norwegian manager to rest places ahead of this midweek final at the Stadion Miejski in Gdansk.
Villarreal are looking to remain in the Europa League places during the final weeks of their 2020-21 La Liga campaign, meaning Unai Emery may not be able to rest any or many star players between now and the Europa League final.
The Spanish outfit beat his former team, Arsenal, in the semi-finals, having overcome Dinamo Zagreb 3-1 in the quarters. A 4-0 aggregate win over Dynamo Kyiv in the Round of 16 and 4-1 against Red Bull Salzburg before that were a lot more convincing.
Gerard Moreno is the star in attack for the Yellow Submarine, having scored an impressive 20 La Liga goals so far this season and a further six in this competition. Former Barcelona forward Paco Alcacer has the same number in Europe, despite only scoring six in the league.
Former Queens Park Rangers loanee Dani Parejo is a key player in the final third whilst Mario Gaspar and Pau Torres are the key men in defence.
The latter two should have a busy game up against the likes of Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood in the Manchester United attack. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is spoiled for choice having also got the likes of Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani to call upon.
United will need to get things right defensively which wasn’t the case in the semi-finals, albeit they did put six past Roma in the first leg at Old Trafford.
Prediction: Man Utd 3-1 Villarreal