Manchester City will have to defy history to win the Champions League against Chelsea on Saturday night.
City have brushed aside Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain on their way to the club’s first-ever Champions League final this season, and their stylish performances against last year’s runners-up in the semi-finals were full of promise.
Pep Guardiola ‘s side is now one game away from clinching the elusive European trophy, with Chelsea, who have beaten City in the two sides’ previous two meetings, representing the last hurdle they’ll have to overcome to taste glory on the biggest stage of all.
However, while City’s attention will be solely on emerging triumphant against Chelsea on Saturday night, they have a historic burden hanging over them heading into the game – although for a side that consistently breaks records, that might not mean much.
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It is worth noting, though, that research from William Hill shows City are up against it based on past first-time Champions League finalist performances, because from 1956 onwards, only 15 teams that were debutant finalists in the competition have won.
Recent history doesn’t bode well, because the last successful first-time finalist was Borussia Dortmund in 1997.
Since then, seven teams who were debutant finalists in the Champions League have had to settle for the runners-up position, with Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Monaco, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and PSG – most recently – all falling short.