MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 13: The Allianz Arena is illuminated with white, green and blue lights ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final between FC Bayern Munich and Chelsea on May 13, 2012 in Munich, Germany. The final takes place at the Allianz Arena, which will he named the Fussball Arena Muenchen for the final on May 19, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Injuries and suspensions have Bayern Munich and Chelsea at less than their best, especially defensively. Could the Champions League Final turn sloppy and high-scoring?
When the UEFA Champions League knockout stage draw was made, the world expected to see yet another edition of El Clasico in the final. Barcelona and Real Madrid remained favorites going into the semifinal, but both were thwarted. Incredibly, neither was taken out by bad luck or bad officiating, but rather by teams that were better than they were over two legs.
Chelsea and Bayern Munich finished their domestic seasons in disappointing fashion, but will be able to declare this season and overwhelming success if either wins the Champions League final on Saturday afternoon. They're hardly the two most accomplished teams in Europe at the moment, but some timely individual performances and great tactical adjustments by Roberto Di Matteo and Jupp Heynckes have made them deserved finalists.
The biggest story heading into the match are the suspensions and injuries to both sides. Chelsea are missing John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Miereles through suspension. There are doubts over the fitness of Gary Cahill and David Luiz, and their fitness situations will become more clear as the week progresses. Bayern Munich are without Holger Badstuber, David Alaba and Luiz Gustavo through suspension. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk is likely to step into defense, though Daniel Van Buyten has played in a reserve match recently and could return for Bayern.