History against budget, England against Italy and Guardiola against his eternal obligation. Manchester City and Inter Milan will meet this afternoon in Istanbul (2 pm, with ESPN TV) in an unprecedented final of the European Champions League, in which the English have extreme favoritism and the Italians appear to be perhaps the villains damaging a party that seems reserved for City.
“By history they beat us,” Guardiola pondered, since his rival is a three-time tournament champion, but he also warned: “History does not play.”
What may be one of the most successful finals in the last two decades is the last obstacle for a City that has won the Premier League and FA Cup and opts to become the second Englishman to win the triple crown in the same season.
This responsibility can weigh on the legs of the City players, in which there is no Champions League winner, but that inexperience is covered by the talent and pure quality of Kevin de Bruyne, Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish and Ilkay Gundogan.
It is the game that defines a project that began in 2008 with the purchase of the United Arab Emirates and that culminated in the same season that the club has been accused by the Premier of 115 financial irregularities, a factor that cannot be overlooked in the successes of Manchester City, always under the shadow of financial doping.
Unlike 2021, when he dispensed with the defensive midfielder and paid dearly against Chelsea, this time Pep Guardiola will not experiment. He will rely on a three-back scheme in attack with John Stones as an additional midfielder when they have the ball and two wingers with a tendency to go inside, such as Grealish and Silva. These will be escorted in the center of the field by Gundogan and Rodri, with De Bruyne as a hitch, with Haaland as a goal beacon.
Inter: stone guest?
Thirteen years after their last Champions League final, the one they won with José Mourinho as coach in 2010, the year of their mythical treble, Inter Milan once again dreams of touching the sky. Inter is not worried about not being a favourite. What’s more, he feels comfortable when nobody bets on him. It is a way of playing with less pressure, although to shake City today they will have to be impeccable in everything, starting with the defense: if they keep the zero in their bow, the chances of victory for Inter led by Simone Inzaghi will increase, who have won seven of the eight finals he has played in his career.
He will form with his eleven type, the 3-5-2, although it was not confirmed if Brozovic or Mkhitaryan will play, already recovered from his injury. Barella and Calhanoglu will try to find the depth of Dimarco and Dumfries on the wings, and Lautaro Martínez, the axis of the attack.
More sports news
#Champions #League #final #Manchester #City #great #favourite #Inter #surprise