The countdown begins! In just a matter of days, the two Champions League finalists from last season will go head to head in a match that may set the tone for the rest of the season. Chelsea host Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon and I cannot wait for the tacticians to go at it once again.
As the day of judgement looms, the pre-game battles begin; Carefree Chelsea will be covering the clash of the titans as it all unfolds. The player duels and comparisons keep the fans entertained, but let’s forget about the players just for a second; Pep Guardiola has failed to beat Thomas Tuchel in their last three matches. This is unfamiliar territory for the German himself.
It has been a game of chess for these two masterminds for the last 7 years but Guardiola has always been one step ahead. There’s a chance that he can reclaim the throne this weekend however following a shaky performance against Southampton last weekend, Guardiola cannot afford to overthink his starting eleven this time around.
Both managers hailed as tactical magicians have faced one another on numerous occasions in both Germany and England. Though they have been pitted against each other on game days, they hold each other in very high regard.
The pair famously sat down for dinner to discuss tactics in Munich during their time in Germany seven years ago. Whilst they used salt and pepper shakers on their table to map out formations and tactics, Tuchel took notes in admiration of the then Bayern Munich boss and has now successfully beaten the Spaniard after years of trying.
“When I understood football, there was Pep and Barcelona who taught me everything about this game.”
More details: Sources: Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola embrace after the UEFA Champions League Final