Lawro’s predictions – Champions League final special v Noel Gallagher and Dot Major

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May 27, 2021
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    Lawro's predictions

    You can listen to live coverage of the Champions League final on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website, with coverage starting at 18:00 BST on Saturday. Kick-off is at 20:00 BST.

    Saturday's Champions League final is an all-English affair in Portugal, but will it be Manchester City or Chelsea who take the trophy home?

    BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson has picked a score for every Premier League game and FA Cup tie this season, and now he is taking on famous fans of both sides to predict who will prevail in Porto.

    For the Champions League final, he is taking on Manchester City fan Noel Gallagher and London Grammar's Dot Major, who supports Chelsea.

    Scroll down to see who they think will win.

    Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel (left) and Man City manager Pep Guardiola (right)Thomas Tuchel (left) and Pep Guardiola (right) have met seven times in the Bundesliga, Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup. Guardiola holds a 3-2 lead, and there have been two draws – but Tuchel has won their past two meetings

    Lawro: It's ridiculous that they can move the Champions League final from Istanbul, but they can't move it to England.

    It's not a decision that has been made with fans in mind. It would be at Wembley if that's the case.

    Looking at the two teams, Chelsea were playing well a few weeks ago but they have not been as good of late. They got away with it on Sunday, when they lost to Aston Villa but still finished in the top four because other results went their way.

    That result means there are a few doubts over Thomas Tuchel's side – there are one or two minor cracks appearing, whereas before they were on a bit of a roll.

    London GrammarElectro-pop band London Grammar's third album 'Californian Soil' was released at the end of April and reached number one in the charts – their second album to do so

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    Dot: Chelsea sort of looked unstoppable for a while, and also looked like we had City's number – although they were not necessarily playing their strongest team when we beat them twice recently.

    Tactically I still think Tuchel is strong, but maybe we ran out of steam a bit. We've seen it before with Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side – when you ask players to press that hard, you sometimes tiredness hits you very quickly.

    It's really hard to say what is going to happen on Saturday, but there's no doubt that at the moment City are playing better football than us. They are just further down the line, and I think this is as good as I've seen them play, consistently.

    But it only feels right for Chelsea to go into a Champions League final as an underdog. I almost fancy our chances more somehow now.

    Noel GallagherNoel Gallagher's High Flying Birds release their greatest hits compilation Back The Way We Came: Vol 1 next month. He has also unveiled a new track called We're On Our Way Now, about not getting a chance to say goodbye – fortunately he and thousands of other City fans got the opportunity to bid Sergio Aguero farewell on Sunday

    Noel Gallagher: In any one-off game, it doesn't matter who the better team is. A red card or a penalty can decide it.

    But I look at it this way – City at our best beats Chelsea at their best, nine times out of 10. The 10th one goes to extra-time and penalties, and we lose.

    Lawro: I think everyone went a bit overboard on what Tuchel has done since he arrived in January. Yes he has done a really good job, but they still have areas where they can improve.

    They have become a lot tighter at the back but they don't open teams up. They just make it very difficult for teams to get at them, and they have got a lot of pace on the break. That really is it.

    I don't really see them being much of a threat in this game, and City will have too much for them in many different areas.

    Noel Gallagher: I think we'll win it but I don't think it's going to be the walkover some people are expecting.

    They are going to park the bus and hit us on the break. If we score early then the score could be anything but I think it will be tighter than that.

    Dot: City remind me of when Jose Mourinho was our manager first time around and it felt like we had two first teams, basically.

    It feels like City play in a system and they have all these players who are quite interchangeable.

    We are the same, to a certain extent, but it can make a massive difference who plays. For example if Jorginho and Hakim Ziyech are in the team, we lack a bit of pace in transition.

    The key for us will be if N'Golo Kante is fit. He would be a massive loss, especially against City because they look to control the game in midfield and he gets around so well, he can break that up.

    Lawro: I'm going with City to win it, and win it in 90 minutes.

    Chelsea haven't faced City's big hitters yet, but they have already played a couple of different ways to beat Guardiola's side in the past few weeks.

    Yes, Tuchel got it absolutely right tactically each time but there won't be a surprise element to how he lines up his team this time. He has showed Pep his Plan A and his Plan B, and I am not sure there is a Plan C.

    City have already won the Premier League and now they just need one last effort to bring home this trophy too. The players know this is the big one, and that they can make history for their club.

    Dot Major of London Grammar'I've grown up my whole life with a Chelsea season ticket,' Dot told BBC Sport. 'My dad is a big fan so I started going with him in the mid-1990s, when we'd just starting bringing big foreign stars like Ruud Gullit to the club. Now I live in London, I still have a season ticket and am quite close to Stamford Bridge after moving further west, which is handy.'

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    Dot: City feel complete, and we are definitely not. It will be interesting to see how defensive we are but as I say, the fact we are not bullet-proof makes us feel a lot more like the Chelsea I am used to, and I like that.

    Tuchel lost the Champions League final last year, when he was with Paris St-Germain, while Pep has won 14 out of 15 major finals.

    But these are all the sort things that make it feel more like Chelsea's final to me. It's going to be very tight though. In fact it's making me nervous just thinking about it.

    Champions League final prediction: Saturday, 29 May (20:00 BST)
    Result Lawro Noel Dot
    SATURDAY
    Man City v Chelsea x-x 2-0 1-0 1-2 AET
    AET = After extra time

    Lawro, Noel and Dot were speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

    How did Lawro do last time?

    Lawro and singer Tom Grennan both wrongly predicted Manchester United would beat Villarreal in Wednesday's Europa League final.

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