Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich
Date: Saturday 19 May
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
It’s been a long old week that seems to have dragged on endlessly but it’s nearly over now and by the end of tonight we’ll know one way or another whether the side we have is capable of winning the Champions League.
I’m not going to waffle on about a load of old shite because quite frankly, you won’t want to read it – and my nerves won’t withstand writing it anyway. We all know what this Chelsea side has done to get in the position they’re in today, they’ve worked their arses off to turn things around this season and deserved every win they’ve got as a result in this competition along the way.
Defeat will see us playing in the Europa League next season, victory, and we’re not only Champions of Europe but we’re back in the Champions League at the expense of Spurs – do we really need any more incentive to get out there and kick arse?
Going into tonight’s game, Bayern manager Juup Heynckes, clearly impressed with Didier Drogba’s wide ranging skills, says of our frontman “Drogba, for so many years, has been one of the top strikers in the Premier League and he is definitely dangerous and can score at any moment. Sometimes he over does it a bit, sometimes he is an outstanding actor on the pitch.” And when he hasn’t been giving sly pointers to the ref ahead of the game, Heynckes has been confidently insisting “We have the chance, after 11 years and in our own stadium, to win the Champions League. I know clubs with a long tradition that are still waiting to win the trophy. This is another chance to do something which doesn’t come along often”.
Roberto Di Matteo, choosing to focus on his own players abilities rather than slagging off the opposition, says “I believe my players have all the qualities you need to win this competition. Those qualities have taken us to this stage and I’m very positive and very confident now. I don’t know what the future will hold but we can win it. We have to believe we can and have the confidence to do so. The players deserve this. Many of them have been here before and know how it feels not to bring the trophy home but you make your own destiny and fate. It will come, sooner or later. We hope it will come here in Munich. But, with the quality that’s been at this club before and that will certainly come into this club again, it will happen [one day]. But all our focus is on delivering it now.”
For Bayern, Luiz Gustavo, David Alaba and Holger Badstuber are all suspended.
For Chelsea, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires miss out through suspension. Florent Malouda is dodgy for a start although fingers crossed, Luiz and Cahill should both make it back. Youngsters Nathaniel Chalobah and Todd Kane make the squad.
CHELSEA: (from): Cech, Ferreira, Bosingwa, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Romeu, Essien, Lampard, Mata, Malouda, Drogba, Torres, Sturridge, Kalou, Turnbull, Chalobah, Kane.
BAYERN (Potential XI): Neuer, Lahm, Tymoshchuk, Boateng, Contento, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Robben, Muller, Ribery, Gomez
You should all know by now my football superstitions never allow me to predict a scoreline but one thing that’s a fairly safe bet is that none of us will have a fingernail left at the end of 90 minutes tight.
Just bring it home Chelsea!