Paddy Power ambassador Emmanuel Petit thinks tonight’s Champions League final could be the dawning of a new era with bright young things Phil Foden and Mason Mount ready to take their place at the summit of world football. Mount’s Chelsea take on Foden’s Manchester City in the Champions League final in Porto tonight with the Premier League winners looking for their first continental crown.
Chelsea have come a long way under boss Thomas Tuchel this season and our ex-Blue is impressed with the work he’s done. In contrast he’s adamant it reflects badly on Paris St-Germain’s star-studded squad. Back with some more tough-tackling talk, here’s Emmanuel’s thoughts on the weekend’s football.
Foden and Mount hold key to the Champions League Final
“Phil Foden and Mason Mount are the young game-changers who could hold the key to the destination of the Champions League trophy in Porto this weekend. I’ve been so impressed by both these players this season. We can all agree what a bright talent Manchester City have in Foden and, like Mount at Chelsea, he has a wonderful future.
“Another man who could be key in the final is N’Golo Kante. If he is 100 per cent fit physically and mentally, he will cause big problems for City. I’m very excited about seeing so many talented players on both teams and I’m hoping for very good final full of emotion between two English clubs.
“I hope the best team wins but of course, as a former Chelsea player, I’d like to see them do it.”
“It would represent a huge achievement for Thomas Tuchel and his team.”
Tuchel has done an amazing job at Chelsea, it says a lot about the egos at PSG
“Tuchel has had a huge impact at Chelsea. He tried to do the same thing in Paris with PSG, but there’s so many egos in the dressing room there. It was the same with Unai Emery, and when you look at what he’s done with Villarreal this week, you have to ask yourself, what is the matter with the players at Paris St Germain?
“As soon as Tuchel arrived at Chelsea, he tried to put his philosophy into practice of pressing from the front, and in the meantime putting a solid defence together. And that’s exactly what he’s done.
“There were some players who were not the first choice under Frank Lampard, but as soon as Tuchel arrived he gave them a chance. The best example is Toni Rudiger in central defence, he became a different player as soon as Tuchel arrived. When you look at Chelsea’s season, it’s not their best ever.
“But they finished in the top four of the table, they reached the FA Cup Final and now they’re playing in the Champions League Final. The improvement in team spirit has been huge. The concentration and motivation too – they all became more professional and more focused on what they had to do on the pitch together.
“Chelsea spent so much in the transfer market last summer on strikers and wingers. We expect much more from them, and they’re probably running at 50 per cent of what they can do.
“But when you look where they (Chelsea) are in the table, and in the Champions League Final, you have to ask: How good can this team be if they all play at 80 or 90 per cent of their talent? They would be very difficult to beat. There is still a big improvement in this team and Chelsea will be much stronger next season, for sure.”
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