Neither side were the favourites to get through to the Champions League Final prior to the ties but both Bayern Munich and Chelsea put up stirring performances in both legs of the Champions League Semi Finals to knock out the "Spanish Giants", Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. The two teams, such is the rules of indiscipline in the Champions League, will be missing a number of key players for the final. Defenders, David Alaba and Holger Badstuber, will join Luis Gustavo in the Bayern dug-out for picking up one too many yellow cards whilst Chelsea will be without skipper, John Terry, dismissed for violent conduct as well as, fellow defender Branislav Ivanovic plus midfielders Ramires and Raul Meireles for multiple yellow card offences.
It would seem that the suspensions will cause both teams similar problems in central defence as Bayern do not have a fit alternative for Badstuber and Chelsea are already without David Luis and Gary Cahill with injuries, losing Terry will cause a huge headache for interim boss, Roberto Di Matteo.
Nonetheless, there is still more than enough talent between the two teams to produce an epic final where Bayern of course will enjoy a huge advantage with the final being played at their own very impressive Allianz Arena in Munich.
Additionally, Bayern Munich has an incredible home record against English clubs having only ever been beaten once in Europe by a team from England, that being Norwich City in a UEFA in 1993! They have won ten of the other sixteen games and drawn the five others.
That stat alone tells us what a difficult job Chelsea will face in the final but the team spirit shown by the Blues in their draw at the Nou Camp suggests very strongly that under Di Matteo, they are a team who will not quit.
Bayern of course have won the Champions League or European Cup as it used to be known four times, the last of those coming in 2001. They have also been runners up four times, the latest of those coming two years ago when they were beaten 2-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan in the final.
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, a former West German international has also enjoyed success in the Champions League having coached Real Madrid to success in 1998. The 66 year old is currently in his third stint with the club having managed them between 1987 and 1991 during which time he guided them to two Bundesliga titles and most recently in 2009 before returning at the beginning of the 2011/2012 season.
Chelsea on the other hand have never won a Champions League title but were runners up in 2008 where they were beaten on penalties by Manchester United.
The two teams have met in the Champions League once before which came in the Quarter Finals of the 2004-5 campaign which Chelsea won on aggregate 6-5. The Blues won the first leg at Stamford Bridge by 4-2 with Bayern getting home in the second leg in Munich by 3-2. Interestingly, there are several players that will feature in this year’s final who featured in that previous tie, namely Petr Cech, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba of Chelsea, and Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern.
The early antepost betting for the final makes Bayern the 5/6 odds on favourites to win the game in 90 minutes with Chelsea a 4/1 chance. The draw can be backed at 13/5 which would mean the game is settled in either Extra Time or Penalties and in the market to lift the Champions League, it is Bayern who are the clear favourites at 4/9 with Chelsea 7/4.