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champions league final 10 06 2023 sport preview

Champions League Final 10/06/2023

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Selections

Manchester City vs Inter Milan – Saturday 10th June, 20:00

Manchester City travel to Istanbul bidding to secure a famous Treble, with Italian giants Inter Milan the opponents in the 2023 Champions League final.

City go into this game off the back of defeating Manchester United in the FA Cup final, but Inter will pose a tough challenge.

Key Stats

  • Man City have lost once in 27 games in all competitions.
  • Man City are top scorers in the Champions League this season with 31 and have only conceded five goals in their 12 games.
  • Inter have won 11, drawn one and lost one of their last 13 matches in all competitions.
  • Inter have kept eight clean sheets in 12 Champions League games this season.
  • Man City are unbeaten in the Champions League this season while Inter have lost twice to Bayern Munich.
  • Man City have not conceded more than one goal in their last 30 games.

Manchester City vs Inter Milan – Verdict

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will go in search of an elusive Champions League title on Saturday and a win in Turkey will cap a memorable Treble-winning season. They face a dangerous Inter Milan side, though, having brushed aside rivals AC Milan with minimum fuss in the semi-finals.

City are the firm favourites and are as short as 2/5 to get the job done in 90 minutes. That price is not surprising when you consider their dominance this season. They are unbeaten in the competition, are the competition’s top scorers (31) and have lost just once in 30 games in all competitions – the dead rubber at Brentford.

They have also beaten two of the last three winners of the Champions League in the previous two rounds and will look to go one better than their final appearance in 2021.

However, Inter cannot be dismissed lightly. They were organised and picked Milan off at will in the semi-finals – and in transition they are very effective. At 13/2 in normal time, they are a big price, but they will not have come up against a side like City for a long while, if ever.

Guardiola’s team have pretty much steamrolled everyone since the turn of the year and they will be patient against Inter. A goal after 13 seconds set them on their way at Wembley against Man Utd, but that may well have hindered their efforts because they failed to really get into their stride in that game.

City held 56% and 59% possession in their two semi-finals with Madrid, while they had 60% possession in the FA Cup final against Man Utd. Expect them to do similar to Inter, who had only 44% and 43% in their two games with Milan.

And those two games against their rivals look like good markers for the final against City. Their five-man midfield got the better of Sandro Tonali and Co and Inter were lethal on the counterattack. That will be their game plan against City, but Guardiola’s men will be prepared and their possession will be purposeful.

Guardiola said: “We have to be with a lot of rhythm but be patient. We are not going to do it in three, four passes.”

With that in mind, expect City to take their time as they probe a backline that has kept eight clean sheets in the Champions League this season.

Inter typically play with two strikers. Former Man City man Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez are the pair who caused Milan problems. One key consideration for City will be whether they will be brave and allow John Stones to push into midfield in possession and leave City with three against Inter’s front two. 

Stones could be crucial to City’s prospects in the final and if he can take Inter players out in the build-up then City could get good possession in the final third and create chances. And City may just have to be clinical against an Inter team who kept two clean sheets against Porto and two shut-outs against Milan in the knockout stage.

City will get chances, though, and they have scored in 26 of their last 27 games, while they have not conceded more than once in their last 30 matches.

Inter will make it tight, but City have the resilience and individuals to get over the line in Istanbul.

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