Venue: Fußball Arena München, Munich
Kick-off: 20:45 CET on 19th May, 2012
German heavy-weights Bayern Munich play host to English club Chelsea in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League final this Saturday. While Chelsea performed a miracle of sorts by pulling off a victory against Barca in the semi-finals, Bayern defeated Spanish champions Real Madrid on penalties en route to their final. However, Bayern would be expected to come up with a better performance than they did in the humiliating 2-5 loss against Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final on Saturday. Meanwhile, Chelsea’s own form has been inconsistent, at best. Chelsea suffered an embarrassing Premier league loss against Liverpool at Anfield days after beating the Reds to win the FA cup.
The previous Champions league meeting between the two teams was way back in 2004-05. Chelsea triumphed 6-5 on aggregate in that two-legged quarter-final encounter. This game is a must-win for Roberto di Matteo’s men if they hope to retain a Champions league spot next season. Will Bayern Munich make use of their home advantage and attain European glory or will Chelsea finally achieve their long-awaited Champions league success?? It is indeed an anxious wait till Saturday for football fans around the world.
Chelsea face a serious crisis in central defence as both John Terry and Branislov Ivanovic are suspended for the game, while David Luiz and Gary Cahill face a race against time to recover from their hamstring injuries. Di Matteo is left with no recognized centre-back. Moreover, French mid-fielder Malouda is nursing a hamstring problem and Brazilian mid-fielder Ramires remains suspended. Drogba and Torres are expected to lead the Blues’ attack.
Chelsea’s probable line-up (4-3-3): Cech, Bosingwa, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Lampard, Essien, Mata, Sturridge, Torres, Drogba.
Daniel van Buyten is not yet match-fit as he recovers from an injury suffered in January. Fellow defender Breno is also unlikely to feature as he is yet to recover from a knock. The Bavarians’ manager, Jupp Heynckes, will also miss the services of German international Bastian Schweinsteiger. Gomez is likely to lead up-front with Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery providing attacking options in the wings. The defence looks unorganized and would be hoping to come up with an improved showing.
Bayern’s probable line-up (4-2-3-1):Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba, Pranjic, Luiz , Gustavo, Robben, Kroos, Ribery, Gomez
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Gokul is a software professional from Chennai, India. An avid sports fan, he is a keen follower of Cricket, Football, Hockey, Tennis and Formula One. He styles his articles as razor-edge analyses of all the hot and happening events in the field of sports.