Champions League Final 2021: Date, Venue, Predictions for Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2021

Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

It's an all-English final in the Champions League.

Chelsea beat Real Madrid by a 3-1 aggregate score in the semifinals Wednesday, one day after Manchester City secured a 4-1 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain to reach the first Champions League final in club history.

B/R Football @brfootball

For the eighth time, two teams from the same country face each other in the Champions League final ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/dmtwp4ubBT

Now, the Premier League sides have a date in Istanbul.

Champions League Final Information

Date: May 29 at 3 p.m. ET

Venue: Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul

TV Info: CBS, Paramount+

Manchester City will likely enter as the favorite since it has been arguably the strongest squad from Europe's five major leagues. Nineteen points also separate City from Chelsea in the Premier League table.

But the Blues came away as 1-0 victors when they met in the semifinals of the FA Cup. Hakim Ziyech's 55th-minute goal was the decisive moment in the match.

Emirates FA Cup @EmiratesFACup

⚡ HAKIM ZIYECH STRIKES ⚡#EmiratesFACup @ChelseaFC pic.twitter.com/vRv1D8gUy9

That result, along with Chelsea's run to the Champions League final, are evidence of how much things have improved at Stamford Bridge under the watch of Thomas Tuchel. The German's impact on the side has been immense.


Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel 🤯<br><br>24 games<br>18 clean sheets<br>16 wins<br>2 defeats<br>UCL finalists<br>FA Cup winners<br>Back in the PL top four pic.twitter.com/RIthNJyyCL

Chelsea rode its luck in a big way when it won the 2011-12 Champions League, best illustrated by Fernando Torres' 92nd-minute winner in the semifinals against Barcelona and Didier Drogba's equalizer in the 88th minute against Bayern Munich in the final.

This time around, the club is one of the most in-form in Europe alongside Manchester City. Chelsea's collective strength going forward is balanced by a stifling defense, with N'Golo Kante the invaluable fulcrum between the two.

Having said all of that, City and Pep Guardiola are on the precipice of achieving the primary objective Guardiola assumed when he arrived in 2016.

Against PSG in the semifinal, Manchester City struggled in the opening 45 minutes of the first leg. From halftime of that fixture on, it was a far different story as the Parisians wilted in the face of City's patient, sustained attack. PSG, which was without Kylian Mbappe, didn't have a single shot on target in the second leg.

The arrival of Ruben Dias has almost single-handedly addressed what was City's most glaring problem as well. The Sky Blues conceded the second-fewest goals (35) in the Premier League last season, but too often their back four would get exposed in critical moments.

With Dias leading the line, City has surrendered just 24 goals in 34 PL fixtures.

B/R Football @brfootball

The Ruben Dias effect at Manchester City:<br><br>▪️Average a goal conceded every 2 games<br>▪️Won 37 Drawn 6 Lost 3 in games he’s played<br>▪️EFL Cup 🏆 <br>▪️Premier League ⏳<br>▪️First #UCL final appearance in club’s history<br><br>Wall. pic.twitter.com/tLM7KryeVg

City hosts Chelsea on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET in the Premier League. In light of Wednesday's outcome, it could be a fascinating chess match between Tuchel and Guardiola if either manager chooses not to reveal too much about his preferred strategy for the Champions League final. Guardiola in particular can afford to play his cards close to the chest with the league title all but sewn up.

Later this month in Istanbul, the return clash is a toss-up.

If this were written for the silver screen, Timo Werner would cap off a frustrating campaign in heroic fashion by scoring the winning goal to bring home Chelsea's second UCL title.

Given both the club's performance the stakes of the occasion, it's impossible to look past Manchester City.


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