Manchester City’s Many Match-Winners Could Make the Difference in Champions League Final
By Space Coast Daily // May 28, 2021
With anticipation building ahead of this season’s all-English Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea, football fans all over the world are eagerly analysing the UEFA Champions League winner odds to try and figure out where to put their money.
It’s no surprise that Manchester City are most people’s favourites to come out on top, but Chelsea have upset the odds in getting this far and will be determined to do so again in the final.
What may give City the edge when push comes to shove is the sheer calibre of players at their disposal —players who have the ability to turn games on their head in the blink of an eye. These kinds of ‘match-winners’ are what every top club seeks, and City have more than most, with an impressive degree of depth to their squad. As Pep Guardiola’s side continue their quest for their maiden Champions League title, let’s take a look at a few players who could make all the difference on May 29th.
Kevin De Bruyne
There’s no better player to start with than City’s talisman Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian international has been instrumental to the club’s success under Guardiola, and he possesses the ability to win matches all on his own. De Bruyne’s unique combination of power and precision has terrorised defences in England and in Europe over the last few seasons, and City fans will be counting on another stellar display in the Champions League final.
Supporters of both City and Chelsea will remember a sensational De Bruyne goal giving City all three points in a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge in 2017, demonstrating the ability the 29-year-old has to make all the difference in matches.
The form of Riyad Mahrez has been key to Manchester City’s run to the Champions League final this season. The Algerian scored three times in the 4-1 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-finals, proving his knack for popping up with vital goals at vital moments. Blessed with a wand of a left foot, Mahrez is one of the players Guardiola will be relying on to make things happen in the showpiece match against Chelsea.
If City perform as well as the odds on the UEFA Champions League final suggest they will, then Mahrez will undoubtedly have a major part to play.
It’s fair to say that Raheem Sterling has fallen out of form slightly of late, with the performances of City’s other stars eclipsing his own in recent weeks. However, the England international is a player who can certainly create moments of magic out of nothing, and that will make Chelsea extremely wary of his threat in the Champions League final.
Sterling has matured massively over the last few seasons, and the chance of being the hero in European football’s biggest match will motivate him massively to perform at his highest level.
One player who can never be ruled out is Sergio Agüero. Although the City legend looks set to leave the club this summer, he’ll be determined to go out on a high, and it would be no surprise to see him bag a trademark goal in the Champions League final.
It’ll be interesting to see if Guardiola starts Agüero in what could well be the striker’s final game for the club, or if he will reserve him to use as an impact sub. City fans would dearly love for Agüero, the club’s all-time top scorer, to be the man who scores the all-important goal which seals City’s first Champions League title.