Manchester City vs Inter Milan: Rarely has the role of favorite before a Champions League final been clearer. But not everything speaks for the Cityzens.
Who will win the Champions League final in Istanbul? On paper, Manchester City is clearly favored in the duel on Saturday (9 p.m. / ZDF and DAZN), but there is also something to be said against the first premier class triumph for the English series champion. Inter are betting on their outsider chance.
That speaks for Manchester City
Clearly the quality in the squad. The Cityzens are better occupied than their opponents in almost every position, but this is also due to the immense investments made by the owner. The 75 million euros from last summer for Erling Haaland was money well invested, the Norwegian striker impressed in his debut season for Man City with 52 goals in 52 competitive games. Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gündogan, Jack Grealish or Bernardo Silva can also make the difference. In addition, the English champions and FA Cup winners are in good form, and the prospect of the triple title is an additional motivation. And coach Pep Guardiola should have learned from the past and refrain from tactical experiments this time.
That speaks against Manchester City
Actually just the immense expectations. Almost everyone is counting on the Sheikh Club’s debut triumph against Inter, and another failure so close to the goal of their dreams would be devastating. Such thoughts can also be paralyzing, which is why captain Ilkay Gündogan warned that City should “not overdo it”. If Milan defends deeply as expected and keeps the 0-0 lead for a long time, uncertainty could spread among the favorites.
That speaks for Inter Milan
Belief in the big surprise. “In important games, my boys have always managed to unleash energies that we thought we didn’t have,” said coach Simone Inzaghi. The team has a lot of experience, the former Bundesliga professionals Hakan Calhanoglu, Edin Dzeko and Henrich Mchitarjan, for example, should not be in awe of the star ensemble from Manchester. Inter is well-rehearsed, disciplined, defensively strong – and up front the Argentinian world champion Lautaro Martínez is considered a difference player. Unlike the opponent, the Nerazzurri can play almost freely. “The final is a dream for us and an obsession for them,” said winger Federico Dimarco.
That speaks against Inter Milan
If Haaland and Co. are in top form and they find solutions against the Italian defensive bulwark, Inter should have no chance for quality reasons alone. The two defeats in the group phase against FC Bayern Munich showed that Inter sometimes struggle when the opponent has significantly more possession of the ball. The old stars Dzeko (37) and Mchitarjan (34) are not suitable for the perfect switching game.
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