It’s finally here.
The UEFA Champions League Final between Barclay’s Premier League side Chelsea FC and Bavaria’s Bundesliga giant, FC Hollywood aka Bayern Munich. The Germans are favorites, boasting a strong lineup with less significant absentees, and the undeniable advantage of playing in their home stadium, the Allianz Arena. Chelsea players have tried to flip it by saying it adds pressure to the Bavarians, but surely they must know they are up against it. The Blues are without John Terry, Branislav Invanovic, Raul Meireles, and Ramires who turned in a fantastic display against Barcelona in the semis. Bayern are without the Swiss dynamo David Alaba, Luiz Gustavo, and Holger Badstuber. As such, lineups are expected to look something like this:
Chelsea FC: 4–5–1 Bayern Munich: 4–3–3
GK: Petr Cech GK: Manuel Neuer
LB: Ashley Cole RB: Phillip Lahm (C)
CB: David Luiz CB: Jerome Boateng
CB: Gary Cahill CB: Daniel Van Buyten
RB: José Bosingwa LB: Rafinha
CDM: John Obi Mikel LM: Toni Kross
CM: Frank Lampard (C) CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger
LM: Ryan Bertrand RM: Thomas Muller
AM: Juan Mata LW: Franck Ribery
RM: Salomon Kalou RW: Arjen Robben
F: Didier Drogba ST: Mario Gomez
Lahm and Rafinha could switch roles, which might cause Chelsea a world of problems. Bayern’s left side trident of Lahm, Kroos, and Ribery might be too much for Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa to deal with. I am expecting big things from Bayern, especially Ribery and Gomez. Bayern has been building its squad and tactics to get to this moment, the biggest stage in European football, the Champiion’s League Final. And to have it in their own backyard makes it all the more special. If they were to win, they would be the first European side to lift the European Cup in its own stadium since Inter Milan did it in 1965. Chelsea have been rejuvenated under Di Matteo, of whom I am a big fan. They were able to get past Barcelona with ten men in the Camp Nou, and Drogba loves to score in big stadiums late in tournaments. However, I think Bayern has a little too much quality and pace for the Blues in this one.
Predicition: 2-1 Bayern Munich