I can't guarantee Ash will win, and since Ash and Guzma can't be the final battle now, I don't have to entertain the proposition.
Well, Charizard is getting used in the Sophocles battle, at least.I'm hoping that Umbreon will get some battle focus for Gladion, maybe even Zoroark.
If this is a 3 on 3, I do hope Charizard will get some battle focus again, Kiawe mainly favors Turtonator and Marowak
The anime has already taught us last series that despite the logical direction the story might seem to be going to most fans, the writers will ignore it if it means Ash would win a league. It looked like they were building up to Ash-Greninja eventually beating that OP Mega Charizard X, but look how that turned out....Really? Because that's the most likely outcome of their rivalry.
Ash not facing a villain in the finals makes it more acceptable for him to lose, especially as Gladion is a big improvement from the past three guys who made Ash go home empty handed. Granted, you could say the same thing about Kukui if we're meant to view that battle as the real finals. But then why put Gladion between Guzma and Kukui? It doesn't feel right. In contrast, Gladion vs. Kukui could be a quick battle much like Cynthia vs. Flint or something.
If anything, it would be better for Ash to face Kukui outside the league as then he'd have a chance of winning. Talk about a forgone conclusion otherwise.