CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Man City v Inter Milan (Champions League Final)

Pep Guardiola will be looking to end his long wait for a third Champions League title on Saturday evening when his Manchester City side take on Inter Milan in Istanbul with a famous treble also on the line for the Cityzens.

Check out our bumper preview for the Champions League final 👇


Manchester City v Football Club Internazionale Milano
UEFA Champions League Final
20:00 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport Ultimate / BT Sport App / BT Sport Website / BT Sport YouTube


🔵 Man City 🔵

The case for:

Where do you begin with this Manchester City side? The form that they come into this final in is completely phenomenal. They won 18 of their last 20 Premier League matches to storm past Arsenal to the Premier League title before a goal from Ilkay Gundogan after 13 seconds helped them defeat rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final last weekend.

A huge part of that success is down to the addition of Erling Haaland. The Norwegian has been remarkable in his debut Premier League season, scoring a ridiculous 52 goals in all competitions this season. Although he didn’t deliver his best performance in the FA Cup final, he is a threat that Inter Milan may struggle to contain on Saturday.

Of course, Manchester City are far from a ‘one-man team’, though. It is arguable that few teams in the world can match City for depth with a plethora of top-class options all over the pitch and a number of exciting young players coming through as well.

There have been times this season where City have looked leaky in defence, but those times appear to be over, with a midfield shield of Rodri and John Stones – who was magnificent in the FA Cup final – appearing to really sure things up at the back.

And, although he was defeated with City in the 2021 Champions League final against Chelsea, Pep Guardiola’s record in finals is incredibly strong. As long as he doesn’t start ‘overthinking’, his presence on the touchline will be another asset to City in this final.

The case against:

It would be silly to suggest that there is no argument whatsoever City winning this final because, as we all know, anything can happen in football and they were red-hot favourites against Chelsea in 2021 and managed to fall short in that game.

It is possible, for example, that all the talk of the treble in the lead-up to this game may become a distraction when these players need to focus on the game at hand.

Also, in Inter Milan, they come up against a side that are not fancied by many for this match and City could well fall into the trap of underestimating a side that have been capable of causing upsets in this season’s Champions League.


🔵 Inter Milan 🔵

The case for:

One of Inter Milan’s main strengths heading into this final is their dogged, resolute defence which has seen them clean sheets in five of their six Champions League knockout games this season.

Of course, they are not going to be faced with the easiest of tasks against Manchester City, but an organised and assured back-line should stand them in good stead and help them deal with the likes of Haaland on the night.

There will also be very little pressure at all on this Inter side heading into this final considering very few people expected or predicted them to get this far in the competition. The pressure is all on their opponents and that should help them play without fear on Saturday.

The case against:

The first argument against Inter Milan winning this final is, to put it simply, because Manchester City are just incredibly good. There are not many teams in the world, if any, that can live with City’s quality when they are firing on all cylinders.

This Inter Milan team have also proven to be very inconsistent this season; enduring a very mixed Serie A campaign despite their success in Europe. They managed a third-place finish in the end, but that didn’t come without its struggles along the way.

Although it was mentioned earlier that the lack of pressure being placed upon them ahead of the fixture could work in their favour, the flip side of that is that Inter Milan do lack recent experience in situations like this whereas playing in big finals is starting to become second-nature for Manchester City.


The Verdict

It is very difficult not to have the feeling that, after many years of hurt in this competition for both Guardiola and Manchester City, this is their time to finally win the Champions League and make history.

For all the reasons outlined above, I think City are the superior side and – as long as they don’t succumb to distractions and underestimate their opponents – they should come through here in fairly comfortable fashion.

For that reason, my first bet is going to Manchester City to win both halves, which you can back at 5/2 with starsports.bet. As well as that, after bagging two assists in the FA Cup final against Manchester United, I also like the look of a Kevin De Bruyne assist at 6/4.

I am also going to back Marcelo Brozovic, who has been booked nine times in Serie A this season, to be shown a card in the game at 23/20 with starsports.bet.

JOE CITRONE


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BACK Brozovic to be shown a card 1pt at 23/20 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


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