Final Matchday Build-Up
After a total of 22 stressful penalty shots this Wednesday, Villareal won its first ever European title, defeating Man United following a 1-1 draw. Pessimistic Man City fans may worry that they will follow suit and lose to Chelsea, but optimistic City fans may as well start rhyming ‘Villareal is filled for the first time in European joy, it is time for the Citizens to become dragon from koi”. It is only fit to finish a series of articles with the same comparison used in the first introduction: UEFA Champions League 2020-21 Group Stage Draw: Dragon and Koi.
On Wednesday, NMA posted the preview of the final matchday. My fellow writers enriched the blog with a couple more articles to provide our readers with the edge in the last fantasy matchday:
- UCL MD-13: The Final Player Picks - by Prakhar Patel
- UCL Fantasy — Rate my team: Timo Werner to haul? by V Dhivakhar
Chelsea’s press conference included two players alongside the German tactician; Azpilicueta and Jorginho. The fact that Kovacic is untouchable in the defensive midfielder role combined with Jorginho’s appearance suggests that Kante will not start.
Pep Guardiola was joined by Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho, so Rodri should be benched from the start of the game. Here is official press conference tweet:
One game to go, and it's the biggest of them all!@DeBruyneKev, @fernandinho and Pep face the press in Porto ahead of the #UCLFinal— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 28, 2021
Tune in LIVE ⬇️
#ManCity | https://t.co/axa0klUGiMhttps://t.co/BfCk56uB5V
Injury & Suspension Updates
Keep an eye on @NMA_Blog on Twitter and comments below for any updates during the day!
Suspension List: No players are suspended.
Each team is expected to have a full squad after Ilkay Gundogan was declared fit and Thomas Tuchel’s optimism regarding the returns of E. Mendy and Kante before the match.
I could not help but note down my predictions for the starting line-ups and hope this will be of help. I have been practicing lineup predictions for most UCL teams based on previous selections, team news and whatever hints are dropped in the press conference with an average success rate of 10.1/11 players (I must confess that my fantasy score suffered greatly from that small wrong prediction rate). With that in mind, trust my instincts at your own risk!
Predicted starting lineups:
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo, Fernandinho, Bernardo, Gundogan, Foden, De Bryune, Mahrez.
(Main concern is Laporte instead of Stones and/or Zinchenko instead of Cancelo)
Chelsea: E. Mendy, Chilwell, Rudiger, Thiago, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount, Havertz, Werner.
(Main concern is James instead of Christensen and/or Pulisic instead of Werner)
Keep an eye on the comments section for updates on the doubtful players, status updates, and finally the confirmed lineups before today’s deadline.
Log in well before the lineups (expected one hour before kickoff). Shuffle players in and out without saving. Have your preferred roster all set but unsaved with variants tested and still fresh in your mind before the lineups hit. Then make last-minute adjustments and save your work.
The fantasy UCL server can become sluggish in the final ten minutes before a deadline, so don’t dally past when you’ve made up your mind.
Be prepared, assess the lineups, execute your planned contingencies, and then save your work with time to spare!
Then relax, crack open a homebrew, and enjoy the match plus chat here at NMA. Be sure to tell us what libation you’ve chosen to de-stress after those late adjustments in the hectic countdown hour.
Good luck to everyone!
How’s your team faring? Do you have any tactical questions? Does your roster need cash? Do you need to find upgrades for your cash to burn? And what stress-relief are you rewarding yourself with as you kick back to watch the match? (beer-geeks David and Jeff want to know!)
Please share your thoughts and season-ending camaraderie in the comments below!