Surprises in both sides.
Thomas Tuchel has been handed a huge boost as the Champions League final lineups have been released.
N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy have both been named in the first XI for Chelsea, who will need both on top form to stop the titan of English football in recent years. Kante was incredible for the Blues on the way to the final, starring across both legs of their Semi final victory over Real Madrid.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 26, 2021
Edouard Mendy was also vital to Chelsea’s progression to their first Champions League final since 2012, with a pair of brilliant saves to deny Real Madrid marksman Karim Benzema.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 29, 2021
Reece James remains on the right side of Chelsea’s back three, whilst Ben Chilwell is preferred to Marcos Alonso on the left flank. At the top of the pitch, it is a familiar trio of Timo Werner, Mason Mount, and Kai Havertz in attack.
Gundogan fit to start
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan limped out of training just 24 hours before this game, but has been deemed fit and starts in an attacking 4-3-3 for Pep Guardiola.
Olexander Zinchenko is preferred to Joao Cancelo at left-back, whilst Fernandinho and Rodri are both left on the bench, with the Manchester city boss opting for an attacking midfield trio.
Raheem Sterling returns to the side too, whilst there is still no room for Sergio Aguero- Kevin De Bruyne will lead the line for the Citizens as they continue with their “false 9” formation.
Here we go
XI | Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Gundogan, De Bruyne (C), Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, Foden
SUBS | Steffen, Carson, Ake, Jesus, Aguero, Laporte, Rodrigo, Torres, Mendy, Fernandinho, Cancelo, Garcia
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 29, 2021
Gundogan’s return could prove to be a huge boost for the Premier League champions, with the German scoring 13 times in their title-winning campaign, the most of anyone in the squad.
However, it appears a bold move to leave out any defensive option in midfield, suggesting that Guardiola intends to provide a barrage of attacks against Chelsea’s rock-solid defence.
Only time will tell if it pays off. With such seemingly bold decisions, the Champions League final is shaping up to be a fascinating encounter.