Chelsea will have to battle the odds when they meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on May 19.
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The Blues will need to repeat their heroics against Barcelona if they are to return to England with the trophy – because there is so much going against them with suspensions and injuries ravaging Roberto Di Matteo’s squad. And if that is not enough, there is the fact that this match is taking place at the Allianz Arena, the home stadium of opponents Bayern Munich (Paddy Power
Match Odds – Bayern Munich 5/6, Draw 23/10, Chelsea 10/3).
What will give the Chelsea faithful belief is that this is not a team floundering under the suspect ‘leadership’ of Andre Villas-Boas (Chelsea To Win Champions League – 15/8 @ Boylesports
). The Portuguese is long gone and under caretaker boss Di Matteo they have discovered a newfound spirit which will never be more prominent that in their semi-final tie with Barcelona, considered by some to be the greatest ever European club side.
Even after the Blues ran out 1-0 winners in the first leg at Stamford Bridge the general consensus was that Barca would be too much in the second leg. That looked to be the case when they went 2-0 up in the first half, with goals coming either side of John Terry’s dismissal.
But down to 10 men, and having also lost Gary Cahill to injury, Chelsea showed tremendous resolve. Ramires netted a crucial away goal and Fernando Torres then wrapped up their place in the final, skipping past Victor Valdes and producing a cool finish which has not been the norm for the out-of-form striker.
That success did come with a price though, and that is why Bayern Munich are the more fancied side. The Blues will be without John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Meireles due to suspension, leaving their replacements with a huge task in trying to stop the likes of Mario Gomez (Champions League Top Goalscorer – 7/1 @ BetVictor
), Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.
Like Chelsea, Bayern Munich also sprang an upset in the semi-final as they ended the European dream of Real Madrid. Missing out on the Bundesliga crown will have only strengthened their desire to be crowned champions of Europe, and this talent-laden squad have shown they have the nerve to do just that after beating Madrid on penalties at the Bernabeu (Bayern Munich To Win Champions League – 4/9 @ SkyBet