Somewhere in the world, there is still a belief that Inter Milan can win the Champions League against Manchester City. Well, with the form Man City is in we would be cackling on those who don’t believe them to be crowned Champions already but they have history supporting them to state facts.
We all are aware of Manchester City’s habit to choke during the knockouts; thankfully though this season they have passed the test of quarterfinals against Bayern Munich and the semi-final against the Champions Real Madrid.
Pep Guardiola’s troop won both games convincingly to reach Istanbul and a team that has won against two big European giants can surely win against a team that could not even win a Serie A title, right? Well, that’s not true and as someone who understands football we know for sure that if any team can thump Manchester City, it is Inter Milan. The Black and Blues have a strong defensive unit who are structured well enough to stop any force coming their way.
In order to get the better of Milan, Pep Guardiola will depend on and want the best of these four players.
No surprises there! Having already crossed the tally of 50 goals this season, Haaland will be a force to reckon. The Norwegian has bettered every expectations and repaid Manchester City with every penny paid on him.
When he was signed from Borussia Dortmund, many believed that he will succumb to the weight of money being penned upon his contract but oh mahn how good he has been. The centre forward can be found where it’s needed the most and somehow manages to be in front of the ball or attract the ball towards him when inside the opponent’s box.
Before Erling Haaland, there was a gap in Manchester City as they didn’t have a “textbook” striker who was good with both legs and head. Halland was purchased for that same reason and he has written that missing page so beautifully and ruthlessly this season. We can expect a hungry monster to step into the pitch yet again.
Arguably the most underrated player alongside his teammate Bernardo Silva who too features in our list and we will talk about it next.
The German international once again proved his worth in the FA Cup final against Manchester United where he scored two brilliant volleys with either foot from outside the box. Wearing the armband, Gundogan took Manchester City to lead as early as the 13th second of the game where he had almost sealed the victory. Later on, he also scored the winner with his left foot.
Ilkay Gundogan has been a pivot in Manchester City’s midfield over the years and a shadow to Kevin De Bruyne. Nonetheless, he has chinned up when it matters the most and a player of big games, Gundogan will be one to look out for.
The Portuguese international has been underplayed by Pep Guardiola as many say and it may well be his last game for City with many clubs standing in queue.
The winger did prove his mettle in the semi-final game against Real Madrid where he scored a brace; one strong shot with his left foot and another cheeky header over Real Madrid’s defence.
Bernardo was brilliant in his movements with and without the ball which Guardiola would want him to mirror in the finals should he play ahead of Riyad Mahrez or Phil Foden.
Kevin De Bruyne
Cometh the hour, cometh the man!
Over the years in so many games has Kevin De Bruyne stood up for Manchester City. This season too has been sensational for the Belgian international.
Let’s leave the season aside and only focus on his acumen to perform big matches. Well, how can we forget the equaliser against Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals. If not for that screamer from outside the box, City would have started the second leg 1-0 down and who knows what the result would have been.
De Bruyne is one important reason for Haaland’s success as well and it is his brain that Guardiola would want to partner with his feet as the Spaniard expects to win his first-ever Champions League title with City.
Will the Citizens finally break the curse and crown themselves as “UNARGUABLE CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE”