Kevin De Bruyne passed fit and N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy to return – how Man City and Chelsea could line-up for mouth-watering Champions League final in Porto

Manchester City meet Chelsea in a mouth-watering Champions League final in Porto on Saturday evening – live on talkSPORT.

Pep Guardiola’s men are hoping to win a historic treble as they bid to secure the biggest prize in European club football for the first time.

Tuchel and Guardiola go head-to-head for the biggest prize in European football this weekend

Having already wrapped up the Premier League and League Cup this term, Guardiola’s men arrive at the showpiece clash as heavy favourites – but they will know there is no room for complacency in this one off game.

City come up against a Chelsea side revived under Thomas Tuchel.

The German tactician has worked wonders in his four-month stint at Stamford Bridge, steering the Blues from ninth to fourth in the top-flight and overseeing a superb Champions League run where they have beaten the LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid and runners-up Real.

Some hugely talented names will be on show and the key battles will undoubtedly prove key to where the game is won and lost, but what are those clashes? talkSPORT.com takes a look…


Antonio Rudiger vs Riyad Mahrez

Mahrez has quietly had an outstanding season for City and he was excellent in both semi-final legs against PSG, scoring once in Paris and bagging two at the Etihad.

The Algerian is electric on his favoured left foot and Tuchel will look to blunt his threat by Chelsea’s standout defender this season: Rudiger.

He has blossomed under Tuchel and would be a certainty for the Premier League’s Team of the Year had his brilliant form continued throughout the campaign.

City’s style of playing without a striker means the goals have to be shared among their front line, and after losing their last two against Chelsea, Guardiola needs to work out a way of penetrating the Blues’ back five.

Mahrez scored a vital goal for Man City against PSG in the semi-final
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N’Golo Kante vs Kevin De Bruyne

Two of the world’s best midfielders, this is arguably the pick of the key battles and one that could define the result of the match.

The relentless energy of Kante up against the technical quality of De Bruyne will be a hugely fascinating watch.

The Blues have won the last two encounters and Kante has come out trumps in both battles, but you never know when a moment of magic from the Belgian could turn the game on its head.

De Bruyne, who has once again dazzled in the top-flight with six goals and 12 assists this term, has often been used a false nine.

Tuchel may use Kante to track to nullify the threat of the playmaker, who is the biggest creative threat in Pep’s XI.

Kante got Man of the Match in both matches against Real Madrid
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Ruben Dias vs Timo Werner

Werner has come under fire for a series of offside goals and missed chances, but there’s no denying he’s a huge threat whenever he plays.

Chelsea are much more dangerous when he’s in the XI due to his blistering pace and ability to stretch defences.

The German, however, will come up against recently-crowned Footballer of the Year Dias, who has been a revelation at the back for the champions and will be tasked with blunting the Blues’ counter attacks.

An absolute colossus at the back with John Stones, Dias has helped City to the most clean sheets (19) this term, but he faces his biggest test in football yet at the final in Porto.

Dias has been one of the world’s best defenders this season
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How Manchester City could look against Chelsea – (4-3-3)

Man City have no injury concerns for the clash at the Estádio do Dragão.

Ilkay Gundogan has allayed fears he could miss out after being forced off against Brighton, whilst De Bruyne has been passed fit after some minor injury scares and is again likely to be used as a false nine.

Departing record goal-scorer Sergio Aguero, therefore, will be named on the bench despite netting a brace against Everton last weekend.

De Bruyne is pivotal to City’s Champions League hopes – but their side is full of quality players
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Oleksandr Zinchenko may get the nod over Joao Cancelo at left-back, with Walker on the right of Dias and Stones in central defence.

Fernandinho is also likely to get the nod in midfield over Rodri alongside Bernardo Silva and Gundogan in the middle of the park.

Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne will make up an interchangeable forward trio, with Raheem Sterling again most likely to feature from the bench.

Is this how City could line-up vs Chelsea?

How Chelsea could look against Man City – (5-2-3)

Tuchel, meanwhile, has received a boost ahead of with Edouard Mendy and N’Golo Kante returning to training.

The club posted photographs of the pair working with their team-mates at its Cobham training headquarters on Wednesday evening.

Keeper Mendy was replaced by Kepa Arrizabalaga at half-time in Sunday’s 2-1 Premier League defeat at Aston Villa after suffering a rib injury when he collided with a post.

Midfielder Kante missed that game as a precaution after limping out of the 2-1 defeat by former club Leicester five days earlier with a hamstring problem.

Kante has returned to training ahead of the Champions League final
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The Blues will line-up with their usual back five, with Ben Chilwell and Reece James filling the wing-back slots and captain Cesar Azpilicueta slotting in as the right centre-back.

Jorginho and Kante will be the ‘Double-Six’ pairing in midfield, with Matteo Kovacic missing out.

Player of the Season Mason Mount, Werner and Christian Pulisic could form the front three, with Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech the firepower from the bench.

Is this how Chelsea could line-up vs City?