Florentino Perez must be delighted that the two teams who first pulled out of the European Super League are set to meet each other in the Champions League final.
Man City will be favourites in their first ever final on the biggest stage in club football but they will not underestimate a Chelsea side who have been thoroughly impressive since Thomas Tuchel’s appointment, barring that weird thrashing at the hands of West Brom.
And of course, it’s only right that during the midst of a global pandemic these two English teams should meet in Istanbul at the end of May.
We’ll be treated to a trial run of the final this Saturday as City welcome Chelsea to the Etihad in the Premier League.
As football content providers, we are contractually obligated to create a combined XI at this juncture… but we’re going to mix it up slightly.
We’re actually going to create two XIs – one determined by Dream Team points and another formed by our opinion, taking into account other factors beyond the realm of this season’s Dream Team game, such as team balance, longevity, etc.
Let’s do it…
A tough call right off the bat.
Combining Ederson’s (£3.6m) distribution with Edouard Mendy’s (£3.7m) shot-stopping would be ideal but sadly no such Frankenstein’s monster is available to us.
These two are the best two keepers in Dream Team this season with only seven points separating them.
The Brazilian just edges it for us more broadly on the basis that he’s proved himself at the highest level for longer.
DT POINTS: Edouard Mendy
We’re spoilt for choice here with Joao Cancelo (£5.5m), Kyle Walker (£3.8m), Reece James (£5.0m) and Cesar Azpilicueta all excelling in this position.
The former has been so dominant in Dream Team this year – he remains the only defender with 200+ points to his name – and has been a key cog in Pep Guardiola’s masterplan.
DT POINTS: Cancelo
Another wealth of options here with these sides responsible for the best two defensive records in the Premier League this season.
City’s pair have a genuine kinship but we couldn’t completely ignore the Blues’ experienced head.
DT POINTS: John Stones & Ruben Dias
OPINION: Thiago Silva & Ruben Dias
For a while it looked as if Ben Chilwell (£4.5m) had slipped below Marcos Alonso (£3.2m) in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge but Tuchel has taught the England international how to play as a wing-back in double quick time.
Man City have shuffled the pack at left-back this season giving the Chelsea man a clear victory in both pools.
DT POINTS: Ben Chilwell
OPINION: Ben Chilwell
Here’s where it gets messy.
N’Golo Kante (£1.7m) is unquestionably world-class but his brand of brilliance doesn’t translate to fantasy football success.
Dream Team is all about goal contributions and so it’s a clean sweep for Man City’s tremendous trio in one regard.
However, if we’re trying to form a genuinely balanced hypothetical team with our opinion XI then we must take a completely different outlook.
For those freaking out about Mason Mount (£3.5m) over Phil Foden (£5.1m) – keep reading for an explanation…
DT POINTS: Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez & Phil Foden
OPINION: Kevin De Bruyne, N’Golo Kante & Mason Mount
It’s important to consider the categorisation of Dream Team players.
At the start of the season, Foden was expected to slip into David Silva’s shoes and so we classified him as a midfielder but in reality he’s played his best football as a wide forward in Man City’s front three, even fulfilling a false 9 role at times – hence the slight contradiction.
Elsewhere, Tammy Abraham (£3.4m) makes the cut in our points team having just edged out Gabriel Jesus (£4.7m) by a single point – the fact City have often played without a recognised striker tossed a spanner in the works.
Sentimentality kicked in when deciding who should lead the line for our opinion XI…
DT POINTS: Tammy Abraham, Timo Werner & Raheem Sterling
OPINION: Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero & Phil Foden
So let’s take a look at our teams in full, starting with the Dream Team points XI…
And now our considerably more balanced opinion XI…
As we all know, football fans generally agree on everything and there’s no chance anybody would get irrationally angry about such an exercise…
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