Champions League: Porto prepares to host all-English final between Manchester City and Chelsea

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AP Photo/Luis Vieira

Thousands of British football fans descended on Porto this weekend to watch the all-English Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea.

More than 16,000 people will be in the stands at the Estadio do Dragao — at least 10,000 of whom will be British.

Kick-off is at 21:00 CET.

City is looking to win the competition for the first time and is making its debut in the final. It would be a third title, though, for its manager, Pep Guardiola, who won it twice with Barcelona (2009, 2011).

Chelsea, meanwhile, is seeking a second Champions League title, after 2012, which is the last time the team was in the final. Thomas Tuchel is the first manager to reach the final with different clubs in successive seasons, having lost with Paris Saint-Germain last year.

Manchester City will be walking onto the pitch as the favourites but Guardiola has already warned that victory will not be easily attained, saying: “I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to suffer to win the final.”

“Saturday will be a game with dynamics, it won’t be 90 minutes of one team’s advantage with total domination,” he added.

City has lost twice in recent weeks to Chelsea, two defeats that fuel the confidence of Tuchel’s men.

“We beat them by being brave, by suffering together, with a lot of quality and conviction,” Tuchel said ahead of the final.

The Blues, who are owned by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, are wearing the underdog mantle that befits their rollercoaster season, marked in January by a change of coaches as the club languished in seventh place in the Premier League.

Three weeks after being sacked from PSG, Tuchel has bounced back at Chelsea with a steely three-man defence, the best in the competition with… Manchester City.

The clash was initially meant to take place in Istanbul but was moved to Portugal after the UK placed Turkey on its red list of countries for travel due to COVID-19 infections. Portugal, however, is on the UK’s green list.

To enter the stadium, supporters will have to show a negative COVID-19 test.

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