So this is it.
After a hectic 10-month domestic season taking in a first-ever Autumn World Cup, its finale, the UEFA Champions League final, takes place on Saturday night in Istanbul.
Following Sevilla’s Europa League win and West Ham’s Conference League heroics in Prague on Wednesday, it’s time for the big one.
As Manchester City and Inter lock horns at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, this will be the first time the duo have met in a competitive fixture.
So will take home ‘Ol Big Ears’ in 2023?
City’s date with destiny
When Manchester City were taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, the club’s ultimate goal was to become the very best around.
Fast-forward 15 years and that journey is poised to come full circle.
Ahead of their third major European final, the Cityzens looks well set to go one step further than their 2021 defeat to Chelsea.
Looking to emulate their noisy neighbours Manchester United from 1999, Pep Guardiola‘s men can seal a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.
Cup Winners’ Cup victors in 1970, a second European title for City would be the crowning moment of their new illustrious era.
And who would bet against them with the goal-scoring phenomenon that is Erling Haaland?
Fresh from netting 36 league goals this season, the Norwegian’s combined tally was one shy of 50.
With a staggering 12 goals in the Champions League this term, Haaland will have plans on breaking Milan hearts in a final once more.
Inter stand spoilers
In City’s way lie three-time European kings and 2010 Champions League winners, Inter.
With their own aims of a domestic double, the Nerazzurri already have Coppa Italia ware this term.
Under the guidance of Simone Inzaghi, the Lombardy club have returned to greatness.
After a decade and more in the European wilderness, victory on Saturday will complete that journey.
Not only do the Milanese boast one of most potent attacks in Europe, in Nicolo Barella, Inter have a smooth operator in midfield.
It might however, be the Romelu Lukaku factor that plays a big part in Istanbul.
Likely to be on the bench allowing former City man Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez to lead the line, a fit-again Belgian could cause problems late on.
Inter will be tricky opponents, but nevertheless, an Italian win would be something of an upset.
Deja vu in Istanbul?
A return to the City of the World’s Desire for a European Cup final, will of course, bring up memories of Liverpool’s remarkable win in 2005.
Three goals down at half time 18 years ago – coincidentally to Inter’s city rivals AC Milan – The Reds staged an incredible second half fightback.
Going on to win via spot-kicks, Liverpool’s win stands arguably the most memorable in the competition’s storied history.
So could we get a repeat this weekend?
Inter could surprise a few yet and a 17/2 price for Man City to win from behind could look good at 17/2 with BetVictor.
Having already briefly touched on Dzeko, what price a goal from City’s former prolific frontman? As you asked, 24/5 to score anytime.
To score a brace or more, a 3/1 shot from 5/2 with BoyleSports might wrap up the night for punters nicely.