UCL FINAL PREVIEW: Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea

8 years ago by: Emmanuel McCarthy
[1] 2 3 4 ... 9
(m) at 17-05-2012 10:44PM (8 years ago)

(2540 | Gistmaniac)

Finally, the UEFA Champions League final is almost here.

Bayern Munich and Chelsea will compete for European club football's top prize Saturday evening in Munich. While you count down the hours, minutes and seconds, we've got your comprehensive preview right here.

Inside, you'll find all the information you need for both teams. Anything else? Leave a question in the comments.

First things first: Just the basic facts.

Who: Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea

When: Saturday, May 19, 8:45 p.m. Central European Time (2:45 p.m. Eastern)

Where: Allianz Arena, Munich (dubbed Fußball Arena München for the day by UEFA, for sponsorship reasons)

Road to the Final: Bayern

Bayern Munich, who finished third last season in the Bundesliga, defeated FC Zurich in the Champions League's final qualifying round last August. The 3-0 two-legged victory secured Bayern a spot in the group stage.

There, Bayern won Group A with 13 points, beating out Napoli, Manchester City (who eventually won the English Premier League) and Villarreal (who, incidentally, were relegated from La Liga this season).

In the first knockout round, Bayern overcame Basel, winning the second leg 7-0 after losing the first leg 1-0 in Switzerland.

Bayern then handled Marseille 4-0 on aggregate in the quarterfinals and eliminated Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid on penalties in the semifinals (after a 3-3 aggregate draw following extra time).

Bayern finished second in the Bundesliga this season, eight points behind Borussia Dortmund. The same two teams also met in the German Cup final, with Dortmund winning 5-2.

Road to the Final: Chelsea

Chelsea finished second in the English Premier League last season, earning direct qualification to this season's Champions League group stage.

The Blues won Group E thanks to a dramatic 3-0 victory over Valencia on the final matchday. The drama continued in the first knockout round as Chelsea overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit against Napoli by winning 4-1 (after extra time) back in London.

Chelsea then beat Benfica 3-1 on aggregate in the quarterfinals and upset defending champions Barcelona in the semifinals.

Chelsea finished sixth in the English Premier League this season and won the FA Cup by beating Liverpool in the final. The Blues must win Saturday's Champions League final to qualify for next season's competition.

History in Final

Bayern Munich's eight previous appearances in the Champions League/European Cup final have resulted in four wins and four losses.

The German giants won Europe's top club competition in 1974, 1975, 1976 and 2001. They lost the final in 1982, 1987, 1999 and 2010.

Chelsea's only previous appearance in the Champions League final came in 2008, when they lost to Manchester United on penalties in Moscow.

Coaches' Corner

Roberto Di Matteo (pictured) took over as Chelsea's interim manager following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas in March.

Di Matteo, 41, played for Chelsea from 1996-2002, winning two FA Cup medals (1997, 2000). Previously the manager at Milton Keynes Dons (2008-09) and West Bromwich Albion (2009-11), he led the Blues to the FA Cup title this season as caretaker manager.

Jupp Heynckes is currently in his third stint as Bayern Munich's manager, having led the club from 1987-91 and again for less than two months in 2009.

Heynckes, 67, has won two league titles as Bayern's manager.

Key Player: Chelsea

Didier Drogba has cultivated a reputation as a big-game player for Chelsea.

The 34-year-old Ivorian underlined those credentials with yet another goal at Wembley in Chelsea' 2-1 win over Liverpool in this month's FA Cup final. He has now scored in four FA Cup finals, a record.

Transfer rumors surround Drogba these days, and after eight seasons in London, Saturday could be his final match for Chelsea.

Ignoring the speculation for a moment, on Saturday we can expect to see the excellent hold-up play, brute strength and lethal scoring instincts we've come to expect from Drogba.

Key Player: Bayern

When Bastian Schweinsteiger is in form, it's tough for any team to beat Bayern.

Schweinsteiger, 27, is the box-to-box midfield general who makes Bayern tick with tireless running, dedication to both attacking and defending, slick passing and the occasional goal.

The German international (90 caps, 23 goals) has struggled with injuries this season, and his head-to-head matchup with the older Frank Lampard (who turns 34 in June) could decide which team controls the midfield—and thus which team controls the match itself.


Both teams have been hit hard by suspensions.

Six players will miss the game through yellow-card accumulation after receiving bookings in the semifinals. The six are Bayern's Holger Badstuber, David Alaba and Luiz Gustavo, and Chelsea's Ramires, Raul Meireles and Branislav Ivanovic.

Chelsea captain John Terry (pictured, left) is also suspended for the red card he received against Barcelona in the semifinal second leg.

Injury News

Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda and defenders David Luiz and Gary Cahill (both pictured) are fighting for fitness.

Malouda appears to be losing his fight, but Luiz and Cahill are reportedly making progress.

Defenders Cahill and Luiz have not played since April after picking up hamstring injuries - Cahill in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona and Luiz in the FA Cup win over Tottenham - but both players are set to return to training on Tuesday.

Luiz claimed on Monday that he was confident of being fit, but Di Matteo admitted Malouda, who was substituted as a precaution in Sunday's win over Blackburn, would be "touch and go."

He said: "Gary and David are going to try and train with us [on Tuesday]. Florent Malouda we still have to assess and it will be touch and go for him to be available for Saturday."

The Man In The Middle

Meet the Champions League final referee. His name is Pedro Proenca, he's 41 and he's Portuguese.

After much said and done, guess we'll just have to wait and watch what happens in that forthcoming 90 minutes.

Have Your Say Pals

lawmanupchelsea (f) at 17-05-2012 11:49PM
(35 | Newbie)

That's a good Team Spirit. We shall lift the Champions Cup this season.
Solidstonez (f) at 18-05-2012 06:12AM
(37001 | Addicted Hero)


jumie88 (f) at 18-05-2012 10:50AM
(162 | Upcoming)

Team chelsea..oya leggooo Smiley Wink Grin Kiss Kiss

fredmichael (m) at 18-05-2012 10:58AM
(163 | Upcoming)

bayern win for sure...

goziedona (m) at 18-05-2012 11:16AM
(114 | Upcoming)

blues all the way
FinlandGuy (m) at 18-05-2012 11:35AM
(7361 | Gistmaniac)

Na Tottenham go win!!!
emmapunpy (m) at 18-05-2012 11:48AM
(57 | Newbie)

lets go boys
kp45 (m) at 18-05-2012 11:58AM
(10393 | Hero)

waiting to laugh. Ccccccccs
Princestevo (m) at 18-05-2012 12:06PM
(820 | Upcoming)

England is the best Cool
kay-m6 (m) at 18-05-2012 12:07PM
(81 | Newbie)

Chelsea wil win by God's grace...shalom!
Maggiecube (f) at 18-05-2012 01:04PM
(2317 | Gistmaniac)

Stepper92 (m) at 18-05-2012 01:34PM
(34 | Newbie)

I Can't Shout oooooooooooooo!!!!
diana80 (f) at 18-05-2012 01:40PM
(15 | Newbie)

chelsea all the way thru
Idbabe (f) at 18-05-2012 01:59PM
(7861 | Hero)

Up Chelsea
Idbabe (f) at 18-05-2012 02:13PM
(7861 | Hero)

Here we go Chelsea
proly (f) at 18-05-2012 03:41PM
(15516 | Hero)

afunwa23 (m) at 18-05-2012 03:44PM
(12 | Newbie)

Chelsea be the first others follows this is our cup oooooooooooooooo
GreenBee (m) at 18-05-2012 03:56PM
(545 | Upcoming)

chelsea its ur game
degoodman (m) at 18-05-2012 04:10PM
(13 | Newbie)

up chelsea
[1] 2 3 4 ... 9