Betfred Sport

Champions League final preview

As the biggest game in club football approaches, suspensions and recent injuries for both sides have made the match impossible to call.

Bayern Munich head into the final on the back of a 5-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal (the German Cup final).

They remain slight favourites, but the manner of their defeat was both humbling and destabilising.

Chelsea have also stumbled in recent weeks, with a sound drubbing at the hands of Liverpool included in their build up to the big match.

Both sides have shown a defensive frailty that may bode well for the neutral, but will not inspire the confidence of their fans.

Suspensions take their toll

On top of these concerns, numerous suspensions mean both sides will be missing key players.

Bayern will be without centre back Holger Badstuber, left back David Alaba and defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo.

Chelsea are without defenders John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic, and midfield pair Ramires and Raul Meireles.

Bayern will play with no recognisable holding midfielder while Chelsea look likely to start the match with two centre backs, Gary Cahill and David Luiz, who have not played a competitive match in over a month due to hamstring injuries.

Strikers will exploit makeshift defences

These reshuffled line-ups will add yet more uncertainty to this tie and Didier Drogba and Mario Gomez will be relishing the opportunity to exploit these fragile back lines.

Gomez will pose the biggest threat to Chelsea’s defence, with 41 goals to his name this season, 12 of which have come in the Champions League.

Drogba will hope to capitalise on the absence of Badstuber in the Bayern defence and will look to impose his physicality on the game.

The missing men may detract from the quality of football on show, but the potential for a rollercoaster of a final is greater than ever.

By Philip Wroe

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