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UEFA Champions League Final Preview — Can Man City Get It Done?

 UEFA Champions League Final Preview — Can Man City Get It Done? | Tipico
 UEFA Champions League Final Preview — Can Man City Get It Done? | Tipico
Published: 2023-06-08

Manchester City and Inter Milan are set to clash in the Champions League Final on Saturday, as the premier European club tournament will be decided in Instanbul for the first time since 2005.

City has never won a Champions League title, though they did appear in the Final in 2021, only to lose to Premier League rival Chelsea by a score of 1-0.

They enter this game as clear favorites (Tipico odds: Man City -220 moneyline to win). Their current form certainly backs those odds, as they recently took home the Premier League title and defeated rival Manchester United 2-1 to win the FA Cup on Saturday.

As for the Champions League itself, they have yet to lose a game, tallying a 7-5-0 record across 12 total games while also posting a +26 goal-differential (31 goals scored, just five allowed). That includes a 5-1 aggregate trouncing of Real Madrid in the semifinal matchup.

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We shouldn’t count out Inter Milan, however. They have a lengthier track record of success in the tournament, though much of that came in the 1960s. Both their last title and final appearance came in 2010, when they defeated Bayern Munich by a score of 2-0.

Moving into the present day, Inter lack the overall form of Manchester City as they concluded the Serie A season in third place — though they did close strong with a 4-1 record across the last five games, in addition to taking home the Supercoppa Italiana for the second consecutive year.

In the Champions League itself, Inter finished second in their own group and conceded more goals (seven) in the group stage than City has in the entire tournament. They head into the game as massive underdogs to win (+570 moneyline).

If Inter hope to pull off the shocking upset, they’ll need to shut down Erling Haaland. Francesco Acerbi is the heart of the Italian side’s defense and will be one of the primary men tasked with marking Haaland. Given Haaland’s goal-scoring ability (12 goals in 10 Champions League games), it will be a team effort, which was acknowledged by Inter manager Simone Inzaghi in the leadup to the showdown.

Inter will also have their hands full elsewhere as Kevin de Bruyne has tallied seven assists in nine games during the tournament, while maintaining an impressive 77.45 percent passing accuracy. He delivers excellent service into the middle of the field for Haaland. de Bruyne has completed 33 passes into the penalty area and 39 into the attacking third of the field, which is a key to City’s attack.

Zooming out a bit, the flow of the game appears relatively straightforward to predict. Manchester City leads the tournament in key offensive statistics such as goals and passing accuracy, while also finishing second in possession percentage at 59.8 percent.

In contrast, Inter ranks 24th out of 32 total teams in possession percentage and sixth in goals. As those stats lay out, Inter is plenty comfortable sitting back and waiting for the right moments to counterattack for scoring chances.

While that style may be forced on Saturday due to the quality of the Manchester City side, Inter is well suited to survive the onslaught of offensive pressure. Despite some leaky defense in the group stages, they lead the tournament in key defensive stats such as balls recovered, tackles won, and clearances, led by Acerbi and Alessandro Bastoni.

Finally, goalkeeper Andre Onana has racked up 45 saves while conceding only 10 goals across 12 Champions League matches. Of those 12 games, he has tallied an impressive eight clean sheets. Despite their status as significant underdogs, Inter is well equipped to deal with City’s strengths.

The final angle to the matchup is that of the managers. Pep Guardiola leads the Blues and has an impressive track record in the Champions League. He will seek to earn his third title -- he won a pair as Barcelona’s gaffer in 2009 and 2011 -- and would join the likes of Bob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane with the impressive managerial feat.

Inzaghi doesn’t have the same impressive track record of Guardiola, but he has guided his side to an impressive 63.89 winning percentage since taking over on July 1, 2021. He’ll have his team prepared to play its stout defensive style.

Overall, City are a buzzsaw and the favorites for a reason. However, those expecting Inter to get run out of the stadium could be in for a surprise, as this matchup pits the strength of each team against each other. In the end, expect the favorites to come out on top, but not after a long, hard-fought, and likely low-scoring showdown.

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In addition to offering moneyline odds on the sides, Tipico offers several additional ways to get additional wagers on the game, including both team and individual goal props, as well as odds on the first half winner, the exact correct score, and other betting options on the game.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Pro Sports Images


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 UEFA Champions League Final Preview — Can Man City Get It Done? | Tipico


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