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EXCLUSIVE I can't see Chelsea stopping the Man City onslaught in the Champions League final

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Pep Guardiola's tactics could be the winning of the Champions League final for Manchester City. Photo:Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola's tactics could be the winning of the Champions League final for Manchester City. Photo:Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Chelsea's N'Golo Kante will have a big role to play for Chelsea if they are to have any hope of beating City. Photo: Mike Hewitt/PA Wire

Chelsea's N'Golo Kante will have a big role to play for Chelsea if they are to have any hope of beating City. Photo: Mike Hewitt/PA Wire

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Pep Guardiola's tactics could be the winning of the Champions League final for Manchester City. Photo:Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Before Pep Guardiola’s first Champions League win with Barcelona, he is said to have told the players, ‘If you get me to the semi-final, I will win the final for you’.

And they went on to beat Manchester United in the final. He has the know-how to deal with the players in a major final, and so much of Saturday night’s game will revolve around him.

His players have got Manchester City to the Champions League final but it’s the manager who can push them over the line and get the job done.

Guardiola has dominated the game in his time in the Premier League.

He has made the other managers think about how they play football, how their teams perform. Other managers look at his teams and how they play, and most coaches coming through now look at the Pep style.

His influence on English football has been huge and the Champions League final is a culmination of all the work that’s been done.

With the squad they have, they shouldn’t be far off in the Champions League every year and they haven’t done that, but if they do win it this season I see no reason why they can’t go on again and win it next year.

Where City have let themselves down in recent seasons was when they tried to play the opposition, rather than playing their own game. This year we have seen them stick to their guns. They played the same way against Borussia Dortmund and PSG.

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Chelsea's N'Golo Kante will have a big role to play for Chelsea if they are to have any hope of beating City. Photo: Mike Hewitt/PA Wire

Chelsea's N'Golo Kante will have a big role to play for Chelsea if they are to have any hope of beating City. Photo: Mike Hewitt/PA Wire

Chelsea's N'Golo Kante will have a big role to play for Chelsea if they are to have any hope of beating City. Photo: Mike Hewitt/PA Wire

Whenever City adjust their way to compensate for the other side, they lose a bit of what makes them strong, so when they stick to their own game plan not many teams in Europe can match them.

Last season was a bit of a lesson for them. They tried to match Lyon’s style and were found out, so once they trust the players they have in the formation they are familiar with – stick with the false nine in the eleven they have, City will win.

Before in this fixture, City haven’t put out their best players or best formation against Chelsea so it will come down to the tactical battle. City play with the false nine and how Chelsea look after their runners from midfield will be huge.

When they played at Stamford Bridge back in January, City played without a striker but had Gundogan making late breaks from midfield, Chelsea found that very difficult to cope with and City were 3-0 up before half time. Saturday is all about how Chelsea cope with that, if they can work out on the pitch what to do and how to deal with City, if they can withstand that pressure.

Individually, City have better players, have a better team with a better understanding of what they have to do, whereas Chelsea have gone off the boil in the last few weeks.

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So a lot comes down to Thomas Tuchel and how he copes.

It looked like he had found a way for Chelsea to play, to make them difficult to play against, and then against Leicester, in the FA Cup final, they didn’t show any sort of ambition to go and win the game. They don’t have that centre forward who you know will cause City problems.

Timo Werner will do a lot of running in behind, will try to stretch City, but it’s about having that quality in the final third – and Chelsea look like they have lacked that recently.

Whether Tuchel can organise them to cope is the question but if Chelsea play three at the back, when City have no centre forward, it becomes very difficult to close them down in the midfield areas. So Tuchel has to work it differently, and they need someone like Kante to be on top form to have a chance.

But it’s City’s trophy to lose. They are the best team in Europe, they have been very good for a while but they improved massively this season. They understand how to win games and if they perform to their levels, I find it very hard to see a way for Chelsea to beat them.

There might be a lesson for the two managers from what happened in the other European final on Wednesday night. While I was looking at the Europa League final, people were asking me ‘what would you do?’.

Man United already had their best eleven players on the pitch, so there wasn’t a lot the manager could do – and that’s the difference between United and the two teams in the Champions League final.

Chelsea and City both have players who can come on and change a game – if the game is scoreless after a long spell, the managers have players to come in and make an impact. United don’t have that.

United’s issue was not the lack of changes made by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but his starting XI. He should have started with a more defensive side, which can then be changed as the game wears on. Instead he went with his attacking players, and had no options from the bench.

Subs could be vital Saturday's final and it’s be a great story for Sergio Aguero to come off the bench and get the winner. He’s renowned for big goals on big occasions and he’s the man to have on the biggest stage there is.

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