The UEFA Champions League (UCL) final in Istanbul is a fitting stage for the first ever competitive meeting between Manchester City and Inter Milan as both try to back up winning their domestic cups with European club football’s grandest prize. As Premier League champions, City are also chasing a treble while Inter, who achieved that feat in 2010, are looking to win this competition for the fourth time.

Despite never winning the UCL, the Cityzens are much more recent visitors to the final as they’re here for the second time in three seasons, looking to go one better after losing 1-0 to Chelsea in 2020/21. Their preparations have been outstanding for this showpiece event, as a final-day league defeat to Brentford with the title already wrapped up is their only competitive defeat since early February (W21, D5)!

Included in that sequence are UCL knockout victories by at least a three-goal margin over RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, but they haven’t been quite as free-scoring on the road. They haven’t always needed to be, but nevertheless they drew each away leg of their three knockout games 1-1 and have interestingly drawn their last five UCL games on foreign soil as this clash shows potential to go the distance.

That could offer a grain of hope to Inter, who won the away legs of their quarter and semi-finals against Benfica and AC Milan and have only lost one UCL game this term on foreign soil (W2, D2). However, losing three of their last five fixtures against English opponents (W2) is slightly concerning, including at home to Liverpool last term as they exited at the first knockout stage.

But if any defence can keep an irresistible Man City at bay, it could be Inter’s as they’ve kept five clean sheets across their last six UCL matches (W4, D2). Manager Simone Inzaghi knows it will be tough, but is optimistic, insisting “the beauty of football is that the favourites don’t always win. We’ll have to be good at making sure key moments go for us”.

Players to watch: Man City’s Erling Haaland has netted 12 goals in ten UCL games this term, opening the scoring in three of his last four European goalscoring outings. Meanwhile, all three of Romelu Lukaku’s UCL goals for Inter this term came after the 80th minute, with four of his last six competitive strikes arriving beyond the 70th minute. He has five career goals against City to his name in 18 appearances (W3, D3, L12)

Written by Franklin Edenojie

Franklin Edenojie also known as The BETMAKER (Big Boom) is a renowned Pundit, Sports Analyst, Manchester United 💕fan and well known Punter.

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