Man City vs. Chelsea: The best prop bets for the Champions League Final
Premier League Champions Manchester City will make their first appearance in a European Cup final when they take on 2012 winners Chelsea in Porto on Saturday, May 29. Pep Guardiola’s men have already lifted silverware this season with the Premier League and League Cup double, while Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea were FA Cup finalists.
The stage is set, and 10,000 lucky fans will be in attendance for just the third all-English Champions League tie in its history.
Sat, May 29 2021, 7:00 PM
Here are the best prop bets ahead of the 2021 Champions League Final.
Under 2.5 Total Goals (-162)
Fans of high-scoring thrillers should probably temper expectations going into the Champions League Final, because these games are rarely goal-fests. Going back to 2008, 61% have had fewer than 2.5 goals and now you throw Thomas Tuchel into the mix.
Since taking charge of Chelsea, Tuchel has managed 29 games in all competitions. 23 of these have had Under 2.5 goals which is an astonishing strike rate of 79%. He has worked wonders in shoring up the Blues’ defense and keeping games tight and tactical.
That’s even more evident in the nine cup games he has taken charge of in the FA Cup and Champions League. All nine of those matches have featured fewer than 2.5 goals.
Man City are hardly free-scoring goal-getters in the Champions League either. Three of City’s Champions League knock-out games had Under 2.5, and the other three ended 2-1, so they were right on the line. Pep Guardiola knows what is at stake in these big European finals, and this could develop into a very tight affair.
Man City Over 54.5% Ball Possession (+110)
It’s also reasonable to presume that City will dictate and control the game in the middle of the park. This season City averaged 61% possession across their 38 Premier League games as they ran the game and wore teams down by constantly recycling possession and holding onto the ball.
That was Guardiola’s strategy in the Champions League as well, where they averaged 58% possession – a number that rose to 61% if you only consider the six knock-out games.
Chelsea, on the other hand, seem happy to give possession up and focus on defending as a compact unit. They’ve averaged 52% possession in the Champions League this season, and that drops to 51% in the knock-out games alone.
Across 180 minutes against Real Madrid in the semi-final, Chelsea averaged just 41% possession yet won 3-1 on aggregate. Tuchel would love to follow a similar plan on Saturday.
Over 3.5 Total Cards (-235)
While goals may be at a minimum, we can expect plenty of drama and a few spicy tackles to keep us entertained. The teams involved in the match hardly scream dirty sides, and the stats back that up. City average 1.3 cards a game in Europe this year, while Chelsea’s average is 1.6. Combined that’s approximately three cards in total in this game.
However, then you add Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz into the game. This ref has overseen five Champions League matches this year and flashed an incredible 25 yellow cards – an average of five bookings every game.
And that’s not an anomaly. Take a bigger sample like the 18 La Liga games he has been in charge of this year, and he still averages 4.8 cards a game.
There has been an average of 3.1 cards per game in the last 10 matches between City and Chelsea, but with this ref in charge going on the Overs is the bet.
Under 4.5 Total Corners by Chelsea (-240)
While the ref may be busy taking names and numbers, Chelsea’s designated corner takers may have more time on their hands.
Thomas Tuchel’s side simply don’t win many corners. They’ve averaged just 4.4 corners in the Champions League this season and come up against a City side who don’t seem to concede them. PSG racked up 12 corners across two legs versus Guardiola’s men, but overall, this season City have conceded an average of just 2.1 corners per game
In the last 10 games versus City in all competitions, Chelsea have managed an average of just three corners per game, and this prop bet would have won in 80% of those matches.
An Even Number of Total Goals (-113)
Finally, this is a bit of a random prop to spot, but the odds stuck out for a reason. At -113 in the betting, the implied probability of the final to have an even number of goals is 53%. However, if you go back over the last two decades, 65% of finals have had an even number of goals and in more recent years if we look back as far as 2008, 77% of finals have had an even number of goals.
It’s not an exact science but given the trends suggest a low-scoring game and this prop means we can win with a 0-0 or 1-1 draw or a 2-0 win for either team, it may be worth a bet.