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Bayern Munich VS Chelsea– Champions League Final Preview

It is finally upon us, the game which will determine who is crowned champions of Europe. With up to 109 million viewers watching this spectacle in recent years, all eyes will be on the Allianz arena come tomorrow evening. The match itself sees Bayern Munich take on Chelsea. Both teams have arguably under-achieved this season in their respective league campaigns, yet they find themselves in probably the biggest and most crucial match of the season.

Bayern’s road to the final:

Bayern were given a tough draw at the beginning of the tournament. They found themselves in the so called ‘death’ group, drawn with the likes of Manchester City, Napoli and Villarreal. However, they managed to accumulate 13 points thanks to their superior home record, and progressed safely into the knockout rounds as group winners.

In the first knockout round they met Swiss side, FC Basel. Surprisingly, Basel managed to narrowly win the first leg 1-0, however, Bayern were soon able to overturn this deficit in amazing fashion as they ran out 7-0 winners at the Allianz arena. The highlight of this particular match was the 4 goals scored by prolific forward, Mario Gomez. The quarter-final saw them face French side, Marseille. It is fair to say that the tie itself was a relatively easy one for Bayern, as Marseille didn’t pose any threat in the slightest. The German side won the tie 4-0 on aggregate.

The semi-final was Bayern’s ultimate test. They came up against Spanish giants, Real Madrid. Madrid were having a faultless season, leading La Liga several points in front of Barcelona. Their talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo, was in impeccable form eventually finished the season on 55 goals in 60 games. Yet Bayern fought bravely and in a nail-biting finale, they managed to win an all-important penalty shootout at the Santiago Bernabeu. The match over both legs taught us a few things about Munich. Firstly, they had a team filled with talent, they had a hunger to win and most importantly, lady luck was truly on their side. Will this be the case tomorrow evening?

Chelsea’s road to the final:

The draw for the Champions League group stage’s saw Chelsea matched with Valencia, Genk and Bayer Leverkusen. The pundits were quick to suggest that Chelsea would win the group in flying colours, however, they made hard work of it in the end. After losing away to Bayer Leverkusen and only picking up a point each away to Valencia and Genk, Chelsea needed to beat Valencia at home in their last game to secure a place in the knockout round. Thanks to a brace by veteran striker, Didier Drogba, Chelsea ran out 3-0 winners and progressed safely through.

The first knockout round saw the Londoners come against Italian side, Napoli. The intense counter attacking football in which the Italian side played was too much for Chelsea in the first leg and they somehow had to overcome a 3-1 deficit if they were to progress to the quarter-final. However, in one of the best comebacks in Champions League history, Chelsea beat Napoli 4-1 at Stamford Bridge. Significantly, since the 3-1 defeat in Naples, Roberto Di Matteo had taken over at the realm after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas. Di Matteo would then lead Chelsea to an FA Cup trophy and provide them with a chance to lift one of the most prestigious trophies of them all.

Tactically, Chelsea had the beaten of Benfica in the quarter final when the two sides met. Benfica could not break down the Chelsea old guard and were defeated both home and away. This set up a semi-final which will never be forgotten in Champions League history. Chelsea met their old foe Barcelona yet again, having played them 3 times over the past 5 years. Having won the first leg 1-0, Chelsea found themselves 2-0 down at the Camp Nou and down to 10 men after John Terry’s outrageous dismissal. All hope was lost as far as Chelsea fans were concerned, however, their team defended bravely and withstood masses amounts of pressure throughout the entire game. Their hard work paid off in the end, as they remarkably fought back and drew the game level 2-2. This particular game epitomized Chelsea’s champions league road this season, as many believed they were down and out, yet they got up and won against all the odds.

What will the outcome be?

It is too close to call for me. Many have suggested that Bayern have the advantage as they are playing in their home stadium, in front of many of their fans. However, I believe that this could work to their disadvantage if they are not able to score within the hour mark. The fans are likely to get agitated and equally so, the Bayern players may show signs of frustration if Chelsea are able to keep them quiet. For me, Chelsea look destined to win as they have overcome the odds which have been heavily stacked against them throughout the whole tournament. One more win will see them capture the biggest prize in their history. Both Chelsea and Bayern have had their fair share of luck on the way to the final, however, luck will only be able to shine on one of them tomorrow evening. May the best team win.

By Matt

Matt is the owner and chief-editor of the Footy Blog, one of the UK's leading football news blogs.