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Πέμπτη, 23 Μαΐου, 2024
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The Champions League final: Fate’s call for the “Citizens” versus the ambitious “Nerazzurri”


By Andreas Gkoumplias,

The football season, is slowly coming to an end with the major European leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, etc.) having their penultimate and ultimate fixtures in the weekends to come. And as is normal, the season is drawing to a close for the European competitions as well, the most important of which is the Champions League, with the two finalists this year being Manchester City and Internazionale Milano, and the grand final taking place in Istanbul, the 10th of June.

The ‘’Citizens’’ are not short of trophies, as they have managed to secure 3 Premier League titles in the last 5 years. However, as far as a European campaign is concerned, they have come up short, coming very close to securing the title in the 2020-21 Champions League campaign, but ultimately losing to Chelsea (0-1). Manchester City has already been crowned Champions in the EPL this year, after a thriller title run that saw them come back from an 8-point deficit to Arsenal. And to make things better for them, they are also in the FA Cup final where they are facing their town rivals Manchester United. The word ‘’Treble’’ is actually pretty ‘’scary’’ in its own right, and if the ‘’Citizens’’ manage to achieve it they would join a very close group of clubs that have made it as well.

To say that the situation is pressuring the ‘’Blues’’ of Manchester would be an understatement. After all these years and the millions spent in the market, doubt has arisen as to whether they can win the trophy. However, as opposed to the previous years where Pep Guardiola’s side would start the season strong but would fall off in the process, this year the hot run for the team has come in just at the perfect moment. To make it to the finals, the ‘’Blues’’ have managed an impressive unbeaten run, overpowering RB Leipzig (1-1, 7-0), Bayern Munchen (3-0, 1-1), and title holders Real Madrid (1-1, 4-0), making it not a surprise that they are considered the favorites.

Manchester City and Inter meet in the Champions League final on Saturday 10 June
UEFA via Getty Images. Image source: uefa.com

Seeing Inter in the Champions League final after a whopping 13-year absence should come as no surprise as well, as the Italian side is performing in an excellent second round, managing to win the Coppa Italia versus Fiorentina (1-2) and having high ambitions for the Champions League final. In Serie A, things were not looking so favorable for the ‘’Nerazzurri’’ as they were left out of title contestation pretty early, managing to secure however a spot in the Champions League next year. The one thing to notice about this team is the consistency in scoring lately, having scored 23 goals in their 8 latest games across all competitions. Inzaghi’s side comes into the final as the outsiders, however, they are not to be underestimated as they are a team that has proven to be very efficient and clinical, especially in the counterattacks. In order to reach this stage, the ‘’Nerazzurri’’ have overcome Porto’s resistance (1-0, 0-0), Benfica’s (0-2, 3-3), and their all-time rivals Milan’s (0-2, 1-0).

The two teams are very different but have one crucial thing in common; they were the best-performing teams in the whole second round of their respective leagues and the Champions League knockouts, making it reasonable that they made it this far. Fate is calling for Manchester City once more, after the lost final versus Chelsea and having no serious injuries in the team they seem more than capable to lift the heavy trophy for the first time in their history. On the other side, a group that knows how to get results when the situations get rough, Inter comes to the final with absolutely nothing to lose, having already made a more than successful year and European campaign. Who will be crowned the next European champion? The answer to be given on 10/6…


References
  • Champions League final preview: Treble for Man City or Miracle of Istanbul for Inter Milan? Key duels, way-too-early predictions, betting odds. espn.co.uk. Available here 
  • Man City vs Inter Champions League final prediction 2023: Who will win trophy in UCL title match?. sportingnews.com. Available here 


 

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Andreas Gkoumplias
Andreas Gkoumplias
He is 21 years old from Kalampaka, currently residing in Thessaloniki, where he is studying French Language and Literature. His hobbies involve video games, interacting with the gaming community (watching other gamers play or join them), meeting new people, and enjoying a nice company, while drinking wine, as well as writing a variety of topics to inform other people and express himself. In his spare time, he prefers relaxing with coffee alongside his friends or researching random facts to educate himself on any topic, while also reading books. He is fluent in English, French, and Italian, as well as he knows little German and Spanish. His big plan — to travel around the world.