The UEFA Champions League final is on Saturday in Munich, and both teams have some defensive trouble. Bayern Munich have lost two starting players from their defensive line as well as deep-lying midfielder Luiz Gustavo, all thanks to yellow card accumulation. Considering that they got slaughtered 5-2 by Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final last weekend with a full-strength side, having to play Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Diego Contente in a must-win game sounds decidedly unpleasant.
Fear not, however, Bayern fans! As Phil Pierson, lead writer at SB Nation Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works says, all is not lost. The Bundesliga runners-up have several key points to lean on ahead of the final:
So, given [our defensive problems and Chelsea's attack], we'd expect Bayern to get sliced open and give up chances and goals all day, right? Not exactly. Despite the above factors indicating danger on the defensive end, I think there are four equally important factors that will leave our defense in better shape than some people are giving us credit for:
- Boateng and Lahm still form a very tough barrier on the right side of our defense
- The loss of Ramires really hurts Chelsea
- We can expect our midfield and offense to take some of the pressure off
- Neuer will be there to back everything up
With Chelsea's problems, there's no reason Bayern should be particularly worried ahead of Saturday's match. Sure, the situation's not exactly ideal, but there are plenty of reasons to believe that the hosts will be able to keep the Blues at bay.