Blues for Bayern
MAY 19 — Should Chelsea not win the UEFA Champions League tonight (2.45am tomorrow, Malaysian time), for the most part, there will only be one party to blame.
It will not be Petr Cech’s fault if he does not get his hands on old Big Ears. Nor will the lack of legs be Frank Lampard’s excuse if the Blues midfield gets overrun.
There will not be an “if only John Terry had not tried to express his liking for Alexis Sanchez at Camp Nou” moment if all fails at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
Instead, if Chelsea are unable to beat Bayern Munich on Saturday, it will be all because of Borussia Dortmund.
Yes, as odd as that may sound, the Dortmunders dismantled Bayern so humiliatingly last Saturday it is not funny. The German Cup Final has severely damaged the Bavarian giants that it has affected their confidence.
Hence, logically, it should be the perfect time for Chelsea to apply the same approach as they did against Barcelona.
The London club can adopt the “you have to beat us” strategy against Bayern as quite literally, the German version of Hollywood is playing a game that is a must-win for them, than it is for the English outfit.
After all, they are playing in front of their home crowd and the whole city of Munich is expecting to have a party like no other to celebrate the return of club football’s ultimate prize.
After the catastrophe in Berlin last weekend, a desperate Bayern Munich is left with no option but to attack Chelsea.
Wanting to make up for that humiliation, some of the Bayern players could ultimately face emotional problems as desperation and pressure can bring on the Joey Barton syndrome.
In our local language it would translate as “hilang akal.” I mean, that is the Joey Barton syndrome, after all.
On the respective First XI for the night, the goalkeepers come into the game as complete opposites as Petr Cech has been in the form of his life while Manuel Neuer seems to have lost confidence.
Both sets of defences will struggle with absentees but expect the Chelsea defence to be more suited to playing the “defend the box” tactics as previously applied against Barcelona.
The midfield sees a loss of energy and tempo from Chelsea while the absence of defensive midfielder Luis Gustavo will not hurt Bayern too much.
Upfront, traditional targetmen Didier Drogba and Mario Gomez can have their good days but Chelsea have the better options with Fernando Torres on the bench.
The honest and hard running Ivica Olic is Bayern’s only hope to change things around should they need to add some firepower but if denied space then he can be found wanting.
This Champions League Final could be a very, very long night but Chelsea will start as favourites for me.