Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea – Champions League Final Match Preview, Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany 2:45 PM Saturday May 19, 2012
By Jason Green of Predictem.com
Match Odds: Bayern Munich 1.80 / Chelsea 4.33 / Draw 3.75
Moneyline: Bayern Munich -125 / Chelsea +333 / Draw +275
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Finally the big match is here with Bayern Munich facing Chelsea. It was no the Champions League final many expected, but Bayern upset Real Madrid and Chelsea upset Barcelona in the semifinals so there will no El Classico final.
The Champions League final is supposed to be on a neutral field, but not this time around, as Bayern will be playing on their own pitch. No team since Inter Milan in 1965 has a team won the CL final on their home pitch.
Chelsea won their last England Premier League match of the season while Bayern was crushed losing to Borussia Dortmund 5-2 in the DFB Pokal final. That match spotlighted a big concern for Bayern in this match, which is the Chelsea counter attack. Bayern will press forward on offense for the whole match and that leaves their defense a little exposed and that hurt them this season and may do so again in the CL final.
Both teams are dealing with suspensions, as Holger Badstuber, Luiz Gustavo and David Alaba are all out for Bayern and John Terry, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles are all out for Chelsea. The Blues will really miss Terry, who is their captain and one of their main leaders on the pitch. David Alaba is a solid playmaker for the German giants and he will also be missed.
Chelsea also has some injury concerns for this match. The Central DF duo of David Luiz and Gary Cahill are coming back from being banged up, as is G Peter Cech, who played great in the semis facing Barcelona. If the Chelsea defense cannot gel quickly they will be in for a long night facing the great offense that Bayern Munich has.
Chelsea Recent Form:
4/29/2012 Chelsea 6 Queens Park Rangers 1 (Premier League)
5/2/2012 Chelsea 0 Newcastle United 2 (Premier League)
5/5/2012 Chelsea 2 Liverpool 1 (FA Cup Final)
5/8/2012 Liverpool 4 Chelsea 1 (Premier League)
5/13/2012 Chelsea 2 Blackburn Rovers 1 (Premier League)
Bayern Munich Recent Form:
4/21/2012 Werder 1 Bayern Munich 2 (Bundesliga)
4/25/2012 Real Madrid 2 Bayern Munich 1 (Champions League)
4/28/2012 Bayern Munich 2 Stuttgart 0 (Bundesliga)
5/5/2012 Cologne 1 Bayern Munich 4 (Bundesliga)
5/12/2012 Borussia Dortmund 5 Bayern Munich 2 (DFB Pokal Final)
Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger will pair in the midfield for Bayern and these guys really struggled in their last match. These 2 are attacking MF’s and the Blues will have to keep these 2 from threading their defense and scoring and creating scoring chances.
Time of possession is key for Bayern, as they wear down teams by winning that battle. The Chelsea MF’s must get in the passing lane, as if Bayern kills the Blues in time of possession they should win this match.
Even with Alaba suspended Bayern still has a solid offense with the trio of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez. These guys combined for 50 goals in the Bundesliga this season and Ribery is no stranger to big matches. I think these guys will combine for at least 2 goals in this match.
For Chelsea Frank Lampard and Daniel Sturridge had 11 goals to lead the team this EPL season and along with Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres the Blues have a good offense that has scored 5 goals in their last 5 matches. Torres had a hat trick at the end of the season and has started to look like the world-class player Chelsea thought they were getting a year and a half ago from Liverpool. I think Drogba or Torres will score in this match, but each may start on the bench.
Jason’s Pick to Win the Game: The match is a “home” one for Bayern and they will have the home field advantage. I think Chelsea will play decent defense, but they will still give up at least 2 goals. Would love to go with the Blues, but have to go with Bayern Munich, as they will win by a score of 2-1 or 3-1.