Champions League Final 2012
Bayern Munich v Chelsea
Saturday 19th May 19:45
Chelsea and their long-time investor Roman Abramovich will once again be competing for the last trophy that eludes them this Saturday.
Another interim coach, Avram Grant, came the closest to winning the fabled Champions League for Abramovich, after a John Terry slip denied them the title against Manchester United in 2008.
Roberto Di Matteo has had a similarly remarkable transformation on this year’s Chelsea side, and after going back to basics and abandoning AVB’s philosophy of possession dominance and a high line, Chelsea have again thrived.
Their opponents Bayern Munich go into the final at the Allianz Arena as favourites, at 5/4 with Chelsea back at 10/3. The German’s were thumped 5-2 by Dortmund in last weekend’s German Cup final and will be determined to put in a better show than they managed in the 2010 Champions League final.
Jose Mourinho’s Inter completely stifled the Bavarians that night and the core of his Chelsea side will have to defend superbly again if they wish to emerge victorious.
Both sides will be severely restricted in terms of the players available due to suspension. Chelsea will be without; John Terry, Ivanovic, Ramires, and Merieles (whilst also waiting on the fitness of Cahill and Luiz). Bayern will be without two of their regular back four; Badstuber and the converted left-back Alaba is also suspended.
Chelsea may have to repeat the defensive heroics that they conjured up against Barcelona in Saturday’s final. The Bayern forward line is extremely dangerous and Chelsea may have to look at hitting Jupp Heyncke’s side on the counter.
Paddy Power are offering a massive money-back-special on Saturdays game. If Chelsea lift the Champions League Trophy, Paddy Power will refund all losing First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score & Scorecast singles on the match.
Both teams are 11/1 to win on penalties, surprising considering the prestige associated with the Germans and penalty shoot-outs, and after their elimination of Madrid from 12 yards.
Mario Gomez is the top name on the first scorer charts, at 4/1, after netting 41 times for Bayern this season. The former Stuttgart man is still in contention to catch Messi as top-scorer in the Champions League; two goals against Chelsea would see him equal the tally of the Barcalona man.
The striker had a hatful of chances against Bayern Munich and is likely to find himself in the right positions again on Saturday. He is a tempting 13/2 to score twice and at 25/1 to run riot and score a hat-trick versus the Blues.
Didier Drogba is the first Chelsea player on the list, priced at 7/1 and with the Ivorian looking likely to leave Chelsea in the summer he would love to sign off with a Champions League winners medal.
Read our review of the all the previous Champions League finals