Chelsea FC will be gunning for their first UEFA Champions League title since 2012 when they hit the pitch against Premier League rivals Manchester City in this year’s tournament final as betting underdogs. The Blues have emerged as one of the biggest surprises of the European soccer season. In addition to their unexpected march to just their second all-time appearance in the Champions League final, Chelsea has also enjoyed a run to the FA Cup final, and is also poised to finish above the line on the Premier League for a third straight year.
Manchester City gets set to make their first-ever trip to the UCL final perched as heavy favourites. Powered by a dominating 28-match unbeaten streak across all competitions earlier this season, the Citizens have returned to their familiar perch atop the EPL table. However, the club has struggled to maintain that dominance in recent weeks, and have seen their two most recent defeats come at the hands of the Blues.
CanadianBettingSites has you covered with all the odds and trends as the countdown continues towards an all-England UEFA Champions League final on Saturday, May 29 at Estádio Do Dragão in Porto, Portugal.
Chelsea Producing Consistent Results Since Christmas Swoon
Chelsea has emerged as a model of consistency since overcoming a shaky seven-match stretch in all competitions over the Christmas holidays, during which they tallied just a single win. The club has racked up an impressive 20-6-4 win-draw-loss record in 30 overall contests since.
This is what the Premier League table looked like on January 1 🤯
So much changed. pic.twitter.com/g4jdFtAv0E
— Goal (@goal) May 11, 2021
The Blues have also steadily exceeded expectations in UCL play this season. Undaunted by their crushing loss to Bayern Munich in the Round of 16 in last year’s Champions League, Chelsea stormed out of the gate this time around, and has surrendered just four total goals in 12 total tournament matches, and smashed expectations with their impressive knockout round victories over Spanish powerhouses Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
Kante. Havertz. Werner.
Real Madrid simply couldn’t handle Chelsea 💫pic.twitter.com/3SynahtQ9w
— Goal (@goal) May 10, 2021
Chelsea has also had City’s number this season. The club helped cement their position above the line on the EPL table with a stunning 2-1 comeback victory at Etihad Stadium earlier this month. That win built on their 1-0 win in mid-April that bounced the Citizens from FA Cup contention, and marked their third victory in four overall meetings with City since 2019.
City Cooling Off
Manchester City has emerged as the elite of English soccer during their climb to the top of this season’s league table. The club has fueled its rise to Premier League supremacy with the league’s highest-scoring offence and stingiest defence. But cracks have appeared in City’s armour in recent weeks. The squad have lost outright in three of their past nine contests, including a shocking 2-1 home loss to Leeds United back on April 10.
Man City have now lost 4 times at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League this season to Leicester City, Manchester United, Leeds United and now Chelsea .
However I think the most spectacular victory over City belongs to Leeds United .
Considering they beat City with 10 men .
— Chris Adede🇰🇪 (@CAdede) May 9, 2021
Of particular concern is City’s struggles early on in recent contests. While their recent 6-0-3 record remains respectable, Manchester has consistently been forced to play catch-up during that stretch. The club has been forced to overcome early deficits in recent UCL victories over Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as a league clash with Aston Villa. City was also unable to maintain an early lead in last week’s 2-1 home loss to Chelsea in league play.
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Light Schedule Benefits Citizens
A busy schedule has not helped matters. City hit the pitch for game action on six occasions over an 18-day period in late March and early April, including a trio of road dates. But with the Premier League schedule winding down, and their recent loss to Chelsea removing the distraction of a possible trip to the FA Cup final, Manchester enjoys a golden opportunity to rest before travelling to Portugal for their May 29 date with the Blues.
— Uber Chelsea FC 🏆 (@UberCheIseaFC) May 7, 2021
Of particular benefit to City is the lightweight competition the club will face prior to the UCL final. With little to play for after clinching the Premier League title, the Citizens are likely to provide their top players with plenty of rest as they get set to face bottom feeders Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion before closing out their EPL schedule against Everton FC on May 23.
Conversely, the Blues still have work to do to stay ahead of a surging Liverpool squad as they play out the league string with clashes against Leicester City and Aston Villa. The club also looks forward to a huge contest on Friday when they battle the Foxes for the FA Cup.
Good Health, Stingy Play Keys to Success for Blues
A key to success for Chelsea will be to stay healthy and to maintain the stingy play that has made them the second-best club defensively in the Premier League this season. The Blues must also use the run-up to the Champions League final as an opportunity to boost their offence. The club sits well back of the Premier League leaders in goalscoring this season, a weakness that was on full display in this week’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal.
However, Chelsea has proven their ability to rise to the occasion in big matches this season and own a key psychological advantage over Manchester City, thanks to their recent head-to-head wins. That makes the Blues worthy of a value bet to claim their first-ever Champions League title. Take the Blues to defeat City, with a $20 bet at Bodog paying out $76.