Walker expects UCL final ‘chess game’ against Chelsea

Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker has suggested Saturday night’s Champions League final against Chelsea will be a game of chess.

The Manchester City The right-back is set to play the showpiece game of European club football for the first time as the Premier League champions take on Chelsea at Porto on Saturday.

The teams have already faced each other three times in 2021, with Chelsea having won two of those encounters in the last six weeks, and Walker thinks that makes for an intriguing encounter.

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England international Walker said: “Knowing them and playing them as many times as we’ve played them, it’s going to be a bit of a game of chess.

“I think it comes down to the big players in the big moments and the special moments, and hopefully we have enough of those players to go and grab those special moments.

“Chelsea are a good opponent. They’ve gotten the better of us a couple of times this season, so we owe them one. It’s going to be a tough game that we have to come out on top.”

Walker will be hoping to complete a string of medals having already won three Premier League titles, four League Cups and the FA Cup since joining City from Tottenham in 2017.

The 31-year-old said: “It’s the only trophy I miss. Since I’ve been here, I’ve managed to pick up everything I’ve done except for the Champions League.

“I think it’s probably the pinnacle of club football. To play in a Champions League final is something you dreamed of as a kid.

“Just hearing this anthem and walking past the trophy is going to be a very, very special moment. I’ve never seen it, so I’m going to check it out and hopefully hold it. until the end of the game.

“But I don’t want to sit here and look arrogant or something. It’s going to be a really, really tough game. »

Fellow defender John Stones also admits he can barely contain himself as he prepares for the occasion.

The centre-back said: “I want the day to come fast. It’s just pure excitement. It’s something we’ve never experienced before and something so exciting for us and our families, and any fans that may come forward now.

“It’s something that we really want to get into at our best time to try to make history for the club, to make history as players and to try to break this cycle where we’re not there at all. Champions League. Now we are and we have this chance to win it.

Stones had a great season after being rejuvenated playing alongside new signing Ruben Dias. He attributes much of that to the influence of manager Pep Guardiola and now he wants to repay the City boss.

The 27-year-old said: “What he did for me and what he taught me on the pitch is something that I hope I can only repay with my performances.

“For everyone at the club, what he has brought to Manchester City in those five years is incredible – the amount of trophies, the memories.

“He’s important on and off the pitch and I’m sure he’s dying to get his hands on this one for sure.”

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