UCL Final: Manchester City vs. Chelsea: Preview, Analysis, & Best Bets – 5/29/2021

By: Trent Pruitt (@trentbets) & Zack Lambert (@bigbird8224

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Money Line: MNC -105 | Draw +240 | CFC +300

To Lift The Cup: MNC -225 | CFC +180

Spread: MNC -.5 (-105) | CFC +.5 (-120)

Total: 2.25 (O -105, U -120)

Kickoff: 3:00 ET | Estádio Sport Lisboa e Benfica | Lisbon, PT

This is for all the marbles! One team will reign supreme after Saturday’s competition in Portugal and we should be in for a fantastic match. One thing is certain, the cup will be making its way to England where the country will have bragging rights until next May. Strap it in for an intense final between Manchester City and Chelsea!

Zack’s Analysis & Best Bet

For the first time since 1997, and only the second time ever, an American player is going to lift the Champions League trophy, and unlike the first case with Jovan Kirovski, the player will have made significant contributions along the way. Another guarantee for the match is that an English trophy will walk away with the silverware as we see an in-country final for the 4th time in the past decade and the second all-English final in three years.

The recent record might indicate that Chelsea should be favored in the Final considering their record against Manchester City. The Blues have toppled City twice in the past month and a half, but neutral fans will still likely be leaning towards the Citizens to win the match. The quality and consistency at every position, including in the coaching box, is flatly overwhelming from City and on the biggest of stages we can expect to see all the stops pulled out. Are Chelsea capable of winning this match? Of course, no question. However, Manchester City is correctly favored.

The two biggest areas of the pitch I will be focusing on will be the young academy forwards and the central defenses of both sides. I think Mason Mount and Phil Foden will both play large roles in this match (and if you can build your own bet for either to score, it could be very profitable). Both players have been integral moving forward this season and could be big influencers in their respective final thirds. Winning the Final with their academy team will mean the world to them and that will certainly influence how they play, so expect good performances from both players.

The central defense of both teams will be a big highlight as well. For Chelsea we can expect a back three with the usual suspects at the back, but after two looks from the Manchester City forwards, is this the match that grouping gives way to the unrelenting attack? The front three supported by Kevin de Bruyne will be keen on getting an early lead and if the center backs of Chelsea aren’t up to the task, it will be a very difficult match for Chelsea supporters to watch. The incisive attack of City will leave no prisoners. However, on the other end of the pitch the situation could be much different. Manchester City will likely employ their consistent pairing of John Stones and Rúben Dias and that has worked well for them this season. Dias’s physicality has shut down the likes of Mbappé and Håland and won’t make things easy for the Chelsea forwards. Stones has been very solid covering his partner and the team has conceded very rarely. I think it will be difficult for Chelsea to score in Lisbon.

I think getting Manchester City to win the Cup outright in regular time is a great bet at -105. This is a team that struggled out of the gate, but once they found their health and first eleven they ran out to a lead and didn’t look back domestically. The teams they tore through en route to the final are very impressive, and finally winning against Chelsea will make it even sweeter. I have Manchester City doing the triple in regulation so take that bet.

The Pick: Manchester City -105

-Zack Lambert (@bigbird8224)

Trent’s Analysis & Best Bet

It was Chelsea winning 2-1 in domestic play just a couple of weeks ago when these teams faced off. I’m always interested to see how the clubs play each other knowing that there is a championship (or any meaningful) game right around the corner. It’s like a trial run where you can test some things out but you don’t necessarily want to give away your strategies for the big game. 

Despite that one finishing 2-1, I’m going to roll with the under on 2.25 (-120) for a unit. City’s had the EPL locked up for some time so who knows how hard they were pushing the pace in that game and truly giving it their all on the backend. Not to mention, the third goal came all the way in stoppage time (90’ + 2’). I think what Thomas Tuchel has been able to do with Chelsea’s defense has been incredible and they seem to be sharper than ever in their own half. He’s a tactical wizard back there. And with this being a championship contest, I think they’ll play it relatively conservative and try to control the possession. Take the under here. We should be in for a 1-0 match here or maybe it’ll end up 1-1 at the end of regulation. I do not see too many scenarios in which we’re in for a barn burner Saturday. 

The Pick: Under 2.25 (-120)

-Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)

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