19th of May 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Bayern Munich and Chelsea will play the Champions League Final on Saturday night, with both teams arriving in a somewhat surprising manner in the last act of this season's top European competition. Bayern Munich knocked out Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid in the semifinals while Chelsea pulled off an even bigger upset by getting past trophy holders Barcelona. The game will be played at Allianz Arena in Munich and that might be more than a slight advantage for Bayern.
Both teams have been hit with suspensions for the final: Bayern Munich will be without defenders Holger Badstuber and David Alaba and midfielder Luiz Gustavo while Chelsea will have to do without their captain, defender John Terry, fellow defender Branislav Ivanovic and midfielders Ramires and Raul Meirelles. Anatoliy Tymoschuk and Diego Contento are expected to come into Bayern's defence while Thomas Muller will probably take Gustavo's place in midfield.
Chelsea also have to deal with injury problems although both Gary Cahill and David Luiz are expected to be fit for the final. However, neither of the two has featured since April and that might be a problem even if they are fit now. John Obi Mikel's presence in the final is still a doubt because of a knee problem and Florent Malouda could miss out after picking up a hamstring problem in the Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers last weekend.
Here are the probable line ups:
BAYERN MUNICH: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Tymoshchuk, Contento - Kroos, Schweinsteiger - Robben, Muller, Ribery - Gomez
CHELSEA: Cech - Bosingwa, Luiz, Cahill, Cole - Mikel, Essien - Kalou, Lampard, Mata - Drogba
Bayern Munich have a far more glorious history than Chelsea, at least in the Champions League. They have won the European Cup four times in their history and have also been runners-up four times, making them them the fourth most successful team in the history of the competition. Bayern have gone against English opposition in the final on three occasions but have won just once, against Leeds United in 1975, losing to Aston Villa in 1982 and Manchester United in 1999. Coach Jupp Heynckes has already won the competition once before, with Real Madrid in 1998. But he got sacked 8 days later.
As for Chelsea, they have never won the Champions League and this is their second ever Champions League final. Their previous attempt was against Manchester United in 2008 but they lost that one on penalties. The Blues have only won once away from home in the Champions League season, a 1-0 win away at Benfica in the quarter-finals.
With all those factors in mind, Bayern Munich are the clear favourites. Here are the odds for the final from WilliamHillSportsbook:
Bayern to win - 4/5
Score level after 90 minutes - 5/2
Chelsea to win - 7/2
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