Champions League final key players: Four to watch in Porto
The Champions League has reached its final destination with Manchester City and Chelsea fighting it out in an all-English affair on Saturday night for the right to be crowned the cream of Europe.
There could be over £1.5billion worth of talent on display in Porto and we’ve picked out two key men from each team that could make a difference in our Champions League final key players preview.
Kevin De Bruyne
An obvious pick but the Belgian playmaker is the man that can supply defence-splitting passes and perfect crosses for City’s attackers – if Pep Guardiola decides to play with strikers.
De Bruyne was the assist king last season with 20 and although he did not reach the same heights in the recently-ended campaign, his 12 was still the second best behind Harry Kane’s 14.
Ours! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/E6ueDcHwe8
— Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) May 23, 2021
The 29-year-old midfielder also started to find his scoring boots in the second half of the season, with seven of his 11 goals coming since March, and he is 5/2 to add to his tally.
A minor muscle injury meant De Bruyne missed the games against Chelsea and Newcastle and was a non-playing sub for the defeat at Brighton.
But he made a goalscoring return in the 5-0 win against Everton at the Etihad where he played the whole game, so his fitness should be fine.
The City defender was named the Football Writers’ Association player of the year and with good reason.
Only team-mate Rodri and Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg completed more passes this season and his performances at the back helped City keep a Premier League-high 19 clean sheets.
The 24-year-old centre-back has been a revelation and Guardiola believes the Portuguese is a captain in the making.
He said: “If a defender plays for himself it’s a problem but he is thinking always about his central defensive partner, his holding midfielder, even the wingers.”
Chelsea’s big-money signings like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech have yet to deliver on their promise but Chilwell has enjoyed an excellent first season at Stamford Bridge since joining from Leicester.
The 24-year-old defender is a major threat down the left flank and regularly pops up at the back post.
The England international has scored four goals in all competitions this season and was unlucky to have a late equaliser ruled out in the FA Cup final.
Chilwell scored against Aston Villa at the weekend and is 12/1 to repeat the trick or 28/1 to break the deadlock.
Mount has come of age this season and is almost certain to be part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championship.
The box-to-box midfielder is one of Chelsea’s most creative players and weighed in with 12 goals for club and country, yet is 5/1 to get on the scoresheet.
He is most effective when in the number 10 role but is comfortable playing anywhere in midfield where he will be key to Chelsea’s hopes of winning the Champions League for the second time in 10 years.
Where: Estadio do Dragao
When: 20:00, Saturday 29th May
How to watch: BT Sport website/BT YouTube channel (both free)
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication