This is it. This is the moment soccer fans have been waiting for, the UEFA Champions League final and it’s another all-English battle at Porto's Estádio do Dragão. The Champions League final will be the fourth time Manchester City and Chelsea meet this year, with the Londoners emerging victorious twice of their three encounters. It’s all to play for and anything could happen in 90 minutes, however, it’s going to be a close one to call. Bookmakers have City as the clear favorites, and we’ll be covering all you need to know about betting on the Champions League final to turn a profit.
Road to the Final
Getting to the final was by no means of luck. Manchester City topped the group stages with ease, winning five of their six matches. Chelsea have proven their worth in the run up to the final, beating the Spanish champions, Atletico Madrid twice, and their city rivals in the semis.
Chelsea have been somewhat inconsistent in the Premier League, finishing fourth and effectively securing a seat at next year’s Champion’s league, yet their successful head-to-head encounters with Guardiola’s men is something to take into consideration when betting on the final.
UEFA Champions League Final: Best Bets
Manchester City are the clear favorites with odds of 1.85 to win the game without going to extra time. Odds for City to lift the trophy stand at 1.48 compared to Chelsea’s 2.65. Even though Chelsea won two of their last three encounters with City this year, it’s important to note that the English champions won four of their last seven against Chelsea.
Betting on goals is a good way to go. Two out of their last three meetings ended in over 2.5 goals and odds for that happening in the final stand at 2.25. The last five Champions League finals ended with three matches under 2.5 goals, including the last all-English final two years ago. A $50 bet on under 2.5 goals will potentially return $82 at odds of 1.64.
Hakim Ziyech scored in two out of their three meetings this year and has odds of 4.90 to get his name on the scoresheet in the final. Aguero has found the net on many big occasions and the odds for scoring in the final stand at 2.85 and 5.80 to score first. However, Kevin De Bruyne is always a player to watch and a threat in any competition. The Belgian has odds of 4.00 to get a goal but considering he steps up for penalty kicks and direct free kicks from short range, the odds are pretty generous.
Team Form Ahead of the Final
Manchester City won seven from their last 10 games, with two losses to Chelsea and one freak loss to Brighton. However, they are unbeaten in the Champions League so far, winning 11 out of their 12 matches, scoring 25 goals in the process. City’s tantalizing form this season is the reason why they are the favorites in any game they play.
Chelsea on the other hand, won eight from their 12 Champions League matches, with three draws and one defeat to Porto. Their last five games in the Premier League yielded three wins and two losses. Not the best form to face one of the strongest sides of 2021.
Tuchel vs Guardiola – Battle of the Wits
There’s no denying that Pep Guardiola is one of the greatest managers of this era and of the greatest of all time. He’s won silverware with every club thus far but still waiting to lift the Champions League trophy with Manchester City. His style has been adopted at different clubs with great success. The high-pressure game with fluid passing and control is intimidating to any opposing team and it’s going to take a special level of genius to outsmart Pep and his men.
Could Thomas Tuchel do at Chelsea in five months what Guardiola failed to do in five years at Manchester City? We need to respect what Tuchel has achieved for Chelsea ever since Lampard’s departure from the club. The new Chelsea boss had a 10 match unbeaten run from the day he joined and his success in the Champions League has earned him great respect from the fans.
We know that City will come out pressing on and off the ball, leaving gaps in midfield which the Blues must capitalize on. We expect City to spend most time on the ball, which means Tuchel must be planning to use counters and rely on speed to catch them on the break.
Manchester City have shown signs of dominance since the early start of the campaign and have clearly displayed their superior quality. Crowned Champions of England with 83 goals scored is quite an achievement, which should give punters an indication of their offensive firepower.
Chelsea wasn’t quite as impressive, winning only half of their Premier League matches, with nine losses. The Blues scored 25 fewer goals than City, which gives us a clearer understanding of why the bookmakers are choosing Manchester City as the favorites to win the UEFA Champions League final of 2021.