Who would have predicted Chelsea vs Bayern would be the Champions League final at the Allianz arena (or Fußball Arena München as it will be know for the final) in Munich this weekend.
Its certainly not the final that the majority of people would have predicted. And take into consideration the two teams league form and league positions it is even more remarkable. Chelsea finished 6th in the EPL and Bayern were way off the pace finishing behind Borussia Dortmund who truly dominated the Bundesliga this season.
You cannot argue that Chelsea deserve to be there. Winning their group and beating Napoli, Benfica and the mighty Barcelona in the knockout stages shows what an achievement reaching the final is.
Bayern also won their group which on paper looked very difficult. The knockout phase was quite straight forward for them until a tough semi final against Mourinho’s Real Madrid really tested there resolve. 3-3 on aggregate after extra time led to an inevitable German penalty victory.
We are expecting a decent final on Saturday. Chelsea and Abramovich will want the Champions League more than Liverpool (and England) want a decent left winger! It is the one trophy that has eluded them, and one of the main reasons Roman has spent the money he has. Bayern will also not want to end the season trophy-less.
Both teams have been hit with several suspensions. If you are unsure who is suspended, we’re sure Geoff Shreeves will be on hand to deliver any bad news where necessary. So no Terry, Ivanovic, Ramires and Meireles, this opens the door for several players to get a starting place. Cahill and Luiz are facing late fitness tests and if either fails this could pose a problem for Chelsea and a big opportunity for Bayern. Expect Drogba to start up top with Mata providing the main support.
Bayern also have some key players missing through suspension. Alaba, Badstuber and Gustavo all miss out. Kroos, Ribery, Gomes, Robben, Schweinstiger, Neuer, Boateng all look set to start, and all of which pose a massive threat to a fragile Chelsea back line. Expect Ribery to focus his attention on the left flank, away from the impressive Cole.
Certainly a tough call. Both teams need a result to enable them to call this season a success and with both sides losing key players to suspension it certainly will be a close one. Ok, time to get my arse off the fence.
Bayern have a lot of quality in midfield and attack which will give the Chelsea back four a torrid time all night. Chelsea have done superbly to get this far, extra credit must go to Di Matteo for bringing the team together. Will this final just be that one step too far for an under strength Chelsea side? We think so.
Chelsea 1 – 3 Bayern Munich
We will be in Munich watching the game with Ford. So follow us on twitter to hear the latest from training and of course the game @averagejoesblog.