Champions League Final Primer And Prediction: Who Will Triumph In Porto?

All the answers for when is Champions League Final 2021 date, time, USA TV channel, streaming options, teams, potential starting lineups and even a prediction. It’s the 66th edition of Europe’s premier club competition, and this year sees Premier League champion Manchester City take on defeated FA Cup finalist Chelsea in the showpiece event.

The two clubs have never faced off in the Champions League before, although they’ve met 166 times in domestic competition, with Chelsea winning 68 games to City’s 58 and 40 ending in draws. 

They’ve already played three times this season with City winning 3-1 at Stamford Bridge back in January PL action, while Chelsea won the fixture at the Etihad on May 8 by a 2-1 scoreline. They also met in the FA Cup semifinals, where Chelsea ended City’s quadruple dream with a 1-0 win at Wembley.   

When And Where Is The Champions League Final 2021? 

The 2021 Champions League Final is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 29, at 3:00 p.m. ET. The match was supposed to be played at Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. The stadium was originally selected to host the 2020 final but the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted that plan. 

However, the pandemic has changed things again with the final being moved to Porto, Portugal, to allow City and Chelsea fans to attend. The stadium will now be the 50,000-seat Estádio do Dragão, the home of FC Porto. 

What Time Is The Champions League Final?

The 2021 Champions League final kicks off on Saturday, May 29 at 22:00 local time (20:00 BST/15:00 EDT/12:00 PDT). The Champions League final USA time is 3:00 p.m. ET, 2:00 p.m. CT, 1:00 p.m. MT and 12:00 p.m. PT. 

What Is Champions League Final 2021 US TV Channel And Streaming Options?

The 2021 Champions League final will be broadcast on CBS and TUDN USA. If you want to stream the game, you can use Paramount+, FuboTV, or the TUDN App. 

In Canada, the match will be broadcast on DAZN.

Will There Be Fans At Champions League Final 2021?

Portugal is on the UK government's green list for travel, meaning that fans can travel to Porto and attend the match, although the stadium's capacity will almost certainly be limited. 6,000 tickets have been made available for fans of each club.

Who Is The Champions League Final Referee?

The referee will be 44-year-old Spaniard Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz. The assistants are Pau Cebrián Devis and Roberto Díaz Pérez del Palomar (both Spain), and the VAR is Alejandro José Hernández Hernández (Spain).

Where Is The UCL Final 2022?

Next season's Champions League final will be played at Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.

The 2023 Champions League final will be hosted by Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The stadium opened ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and hosted the semifinal between France and Belgium, as well as Argentina’s dramatic group stage victory over Nigeria. 

Who Won The Champions League In 2020?

Bayern Munich defeated PSG in the 2020 final, but PSG returned the favor in the quarterfinals this season before bowing out to City in the semis. 

Has An American Ever Won The Champions League?

Not yet, but that'll change on May 29. USMNT attacker Christian Pulisic plays for Chelsea, while goalkeeper Zack Steffen is Ederson’s understudy at Manchester City. 

Champions League Final Preview: Manchester City

History: By eliminating PSG in the semifinals, Manchester City became the ninth English side to reach the final and the 42nd different team overall. City’s previous best appearance was the semifinal round in 2015-16 under Manuel Pellegrini, but Pep Guardiola’s fifth season at the helm has finally delivered City to the promised land.

City’s domestic fortunes were transformed following a 2008 takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group. Before City’s new owners arrived, the club had won two first division titles, two League Cups and four FA Cups in 114 years of existence. Since then, the club has won five first division titles, six League Cups and two FA Cups in just 13 years.

The club has entered a golden era of collecting trophies since the arrival of Guardiola. The Spanish coach won the Champions League himself as a player with Barcelona (1992) and then guided Barça to two titles as manager (2009 and 2011), but he’s experienced disappointment in the competition ever since despite three league titles with both Bayern Munich and City.

But Guardiola now has a squad that’s tooled to his exact specifications, while there’s also a mean streak in defensive players like Ederson, Rúben Dias, Rodri and John Stones that’s been missing in the past. 

The strength of City’s attack is a wealth of different options that can kill you. Strikers Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Agüero have only contributed two goals apiece in the UCL, but Phil Foden (three), Kevin De Bruyne (three), İlkay Gündoğan (three), Riyad Mahrez (four) and Ferran Torres (four) highlight the lethal variety of the team’s approach.

De Bruyne also leads the team in assists (four), cementing his reputation as the world’s best attacking midfielder, while the 20-year-old Foden has also created well (three) in a breakthrough season that’s seen him log more UCL minutes than any other City outfield player. The Englishman is a threat on the dribble, as is Portuguese fullback João Cancelo and Algerian winger Mahrez.   

Potential Starting XI: Ederson; João Cancelo, Rúben Dias, John Stones, Kyle Walker; Phil Foden, İlkay Gündoğan, Rodri, Riyad Mahrez; Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne 

Manchester City Injuries: None    

Manchester City Path To Champions League Final: The Citizens eased through group play with five wins and an away draw in Porto, allowing only one goal in six matches while scoring 13. 

City was handed an intriguing draw in the Round of 16 against surprise package Borussia Mönchengladbach, but a pair of 2-0 wins showed the unmatchable quality of the Premier League champion.  

City’s first real test was delivered by Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals, with the German side feeling hard done by a 2-1 result in the first leg before taking a surprising 1-0 lead at the Westfalenstadion to put City's campaign on the brink.

However, Foden’s 75th-minute strike ensured passage to the semifinals while the defense managed to keep Erling Haaland off the scoresheet in back-to-back games.  

The semifinal against the star vehicle that is PSG started off poorly in Paris with Marquinhos giving the home side an early advantage, but City dictated the second half of the first leg before continuing that dominance in the return fixture. 

Mahrez scored three of City’s four goals in the 4-1 aggregate victory, and PSG ended both matches in shambles as Idrissa Gueye was red carded in Paris before Ángel Di María managed the same feat in Manchester.

Champions League Final Preview: Chelsea 

History: The Blues return to the Champions League final for the third time in club history and first since defeating Bayern Munich on penalties in 2012. The also made it to the final in 2008, losing on penalties to Manchester United in that one.

Chelsea was transformed by the sale of the club to Russian Billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003, who’s overseen five Premier League triumphs, five FA Cup wins and two Europa League titles. 

Much of that domestic success was achieved with José Mourinho as manager, while there’s been a revolving door of other big names, including Luiz Felipe Scolari, André Villas-Boas, Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri and, up until Jan. 25, Frank Lampard.

The dismissal of the club legend triggered a massive reversal of fortune with the arrival of German manager Thomas Tuchel, who's only lost four of his first 27 games in charge. Chelsea has climbed from ninth to fourth in the league, advanced to the final of the FA Cup and taken out Atlético, Porto and Real Madrid in the UCL knockout rounds.

Potential Starting XI: Edouard Mendy; Antonio Rüdiger, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen; Ben Chilwell, Mason Mount, Jorginho, N'Golo Kanté, César Azpilicueta; Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic 

Chelsea Injuries: Andreas Christensen (hamstring) 

Chelsea Path To The Final: With Lampard at the helm, Chelsea navigated group play with relative ease — winning four, drawing two and scoring 14 goals while conceding only two. The highlight was a 4-0 win over Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán with every goal coming from Olivier Giroud.

Many predicted a Chelsea exit in the Round of 16 against LaLiga leader Atlético, but Giroud hit a bicycle kick in the first leg to swell belief before a stifling performance in the return fixture put the Blues through 3-0 on aggregate.  

Chelsea then effectively took care of business in the first leg of the quarterfinals by winning 2-0 as the “away” team against Porto. (Both legs were played in Seville, Spain, due to travel restrictions between Portugal and England.) 

Christian Pulisic was the hero of the semifinal first leg against Real Madrid with a vital away goal.

And the Blues showed just how serious of a threat they are to City in the second leg with a hugely impressive 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge that showcased the strength of their collective. 

Champions League Final Prediction: Tuchel has Chelsea’s defense and midfield playing at the highest level, while we know the attack has an interesting variation of both pace (Werner, Pulisic) and craft (Mount, Havertz), but will the Blues be clinical enough against a City side that’s allowed only four goals in 12 games (with a xGA of only 6.2)? 

This feels a lot more like Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez’s moment, and for all the talk surrounding Chelsea’s young stars, none have had a better season than City’s Phil Foden.

Manchester City 2 – 1 Chelsea  

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