Europe’s biggest club competition the Champions League comes to a close tonight in Munich in a final which will see Chelsea play Bayern Munich. Bayern have a major edge in this competition as they have won the Champions League 4 times and the match will be played in their home arena. Chelsea are familiar to Champions League finals as the one and only time the club appeared in one was back in 2008 which they lost to Manchester United in Moscow. History aside this should provide one of the closest match-ups on the pitch as both these sides really cant be separated on paper.
As you can see from the projected lineups seven players from Chelsea and Bayern will be suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Bayern will be without Holger Badstuber, David Alaba, and Luiz Gustavo; while Chelsea are without captain John Terry, Ramires, Raul Meireles, and Branislav Ivanovic. Chelsea are also facing fitness battles for their two centre backs David Luiz, and Gary Cahill, also French playmaker Florent Malouda looks more and more like he will miss the match due to injury.
Bayern definitely have to feel they have the advantage due to the injuries and suspensions Chelsea have suffered. While Bayern will miss Badstuber and Gustavo in the back they aren’t missing the major pieces that Chelsea is. You can argue that Chelsea wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the brilliance of Raimres. Say what you will about John Terry but he is Chelsea and is the captain and leader on the pitch for a sometimes mentally weak Chelsea side. Bayern have 2 great wingers in Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery that can just constantly feed the box with crosses for Gomez and if Luiz and Cahill aren’t 100%.
Despite all the negatives for Chelsea they still have a great chance of bringing the trophy back to Stamford Bridge. They are playing with renewed confidence under caretaker manager Roberto DiMatteo. Chelsea though are going to need a great game from Drogba, Lampard and Mata. Those players to me are key for Chelsea to get anything from this match. If they all can produce for Chelsea I think they will take the trophy. However I like Bayern Munich to win the 2012 Champions League Finale. I feel that everything is going their way. From the suspensions and injuries Chelsea have to the luxury of them playing at home coming out of their own locker room it just feels that its all setup for them to take it. I’ll go with Bayern to win 3-1 with Arjen Robben scoring 2 and Mario Gomez with the third. It should be a great game and all the action starts tonight at 20:45 (CET) or 02:45 (Eastern).