Manchester City are favourites but Inter Milan can pull off a win
Ahead of the Champions League final this weekend we caught up with former Liverpool winger John Barnes to preview the Champions League final. The pundit also shared his thoughts on the performances of John Stones this season who has been a revelation in midfield.
Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City troops will be hoping to avenge their Champions League final loss to Chelsea two years ago tomorrow evening. The blues take on Italian giants Inter Milan and find themselves as overwhelming favourites for the clash.
Whilst Barnes agrees with the premise that City are favourites for the final, he warns that Inter Milan have a number of threats that can cause them issues on the day. He also wants Inter Milan’s defensive organisation which Kevin De Bruyne and co will be looking to break down.
“Manchester City are the favourites but it’s a one off. They were favourites against Chelsea so it’s a one off and anything can happen.”
“I expect City to win but it wouldn’t surprise me if Inter Milan pulled off a win.”
“Inter Milan have got very good organisation and up front they’ve got Laturo Martinez, Lukaku and Dzeko so anything can happen.”
John Stones has been fantastic
One of the key facets behind Manchester City’s fantastic second half of the season is centre half John Stones. Throughout the season Pep Guardiola has been trying to find a way to incorporate Erling Haaland into the side without sacrificing the extra body in midfield. Last season saw City triumph their way to another league title using a false nine system which gave them overloads in the midfield area of the pitch.
Guardiola has tried a number of players in the midfield role this season from Joao Cancelo to Rico Lewis with varying levels of success. However, Stones in the midfield role next to Rodri has transformed City’s season and he will be expected to line up there this Saturday. Barnes has been impressed but very unsurprised by the success of Stones in midfield due to his ability on the ball as well as the quality of the manager coaching him.
“John Stones has been fantastic but I think Pep Guardiola is the type of coach that explains 100% of what he requires from his players in their roles. This is why you can see an improvement in someone like Jack Grealish also.”
“If you have a good coach that is very clear in explaining what he wants from you and you’re a good footballer you will thrive.”
“John Stones is a great footballer and we know he’s superb on the ball so him playing in central midfield doesn’t surprise me.”