2012 UEFA Champions League Championship Game: Chelsea vs Bayern Munich
2012 UEFA Champions League Championship Game
Chelsea FC at FC Bayern Munich
Allianz Fubball Arena – Munich, Germany
Saturday, May 19, 2012, 2:45 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Current Point Line: (regulation and stoppage time only) Bayern PK -285 / Chelsea PK +225
Current 3 Way Line: (regulation and stoppage time only) Bayern -130 / Chelsea +335 / Draw +275
Current Total: (regulation and stoppage time only) 2 1/2 under -125/ 2 1/2 over -105
Odds to win: (includes overtime and/or shootouts) Bayern -225 / Chelsea +185
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker
Much like the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series last year or the New York Giants winning the Super Bowl this year, Chelsea is trying to join a parade of unlikely champions. Chelsea will take on Bayern Munich for the 2012 UEFA Champions League Championship in Munich Saturday evening. Chelsea finished the English Premier League in sixth place, and will not qualify for next year’s UEFA Championship unless they upset Bayern in the game.
For Bayern’s part, they became the first team to qualify for the UEFA Championship game in their own home stadium since Roma in 1984. Though technically a neutral site game the crowd will be dominated by Bayern fans. Plenty of Chelsea fans will make the trip as well, though. Bayern is even allowed to use their own clubhouse, rather than one of the two neutral clubhouses installed in the stadium for this final. Bayern has only allowed 6 goals at home this season. Bayern Munich finished second in the German Bundesliga.
Many thought the UEFA final would be a Spanish showdown between arch-rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid. However, Chelsea and Bayern beat those two teams in the semifinals. Chelsea beat Barcelona 1-0 at home and then got a 2-2 draw at Barcelona to advance. Bayern beat Madrid 2-1 at home, and lost at Madrid 2-1 in penalty kicks. Bayern advanced on aggregate regulation goals.
Chelsea is managed by Roberto Di Matteo who took over the club in March. He took over from manager Andre Villas-Boas after a 3-1 defeat to Napoli in the first leg of their second round UEFA match-up. Di Matteo changed their style from Villas-Boas’ pressing attack to a more conservative lay back and be patient style. Of course Chelsea thrived under this new style and is now in the UEFA final. They also won the FA Cup a couple of weeks ago against Liverpool. However, the sixth place finish in the EPL will not get the job done, and Di Matteo could be out of a job next season win or lose in this game.
Chelsea will be without defenseman John Terry, who got a red card in the second leg against Barcelona. Chelsea will also be without D Branislav Ivanovic, and midfielders Ramires and Raul Meireles.
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has allowed only 56 goals in 55 games in all competitions this season. In the UEFA Champions League, He has given up 11 goals in 12 games.
In the Champions League, Chelsea has been led by the dynamic striker Didier Drogba who has 5 goals and 2 assists in 7 games. Midfielder Frank Lampard has 3 goals and 3 assists in 11 games. Striker Fernando Torres has 3 goals and 4 assists in 9 games. The four suspended players accounted for 8 of the 16 goals Chelsea scored in the UCL.
Bayern Munich is coached by Jupp Heynckes. He understands what Di Matteo is going through as he won the 1998 UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid but was fired because of a disappointing fourth place finish in La Liga.
Bayern will also be without some key players due to suspensions. Defenseman Holger Badstuber and midfielder David Alaba will both miss the game.
Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has allowed 36 goals in 48 games in all competitions, and 8 goals in 10 UCL games.
Striker Mario Gomez has 12 goals in 11 games for Bayern. Midfielder Arjen Robben has 4 goals and an assist in 7 games. Midfielder Franck Ribery has 3 goals and 2 assists in 11 games. Midfielder Toni Kroos has 2 goals and 4 assists in 10 games. Striker Ivica Olic has 2 goals.
Both teams are missing some key players, but Chelsea is really hurt by the suspensions to almost half their offense. It also won’t help playing in the hostile environment of Bayern’s home stadium in Munich. Still I wouldn’t count Chelsea out. Both sides are saying the other team is the favorite, but that is to be expected. I think this this game will go to extra time or perhaps even a shootout. Bayern prevails 2-1 to win their fifth European Title.
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