Bayern Munich Vs. Chelsea, 2012 UEFA Champions League Final: Lineup Analysis

There have been hints dropped that Bayern Munich would start one of Daniel Pranjic, Daniel Van Buyten or Rafinha, shaking up their lineup, but they've kept things conventional. Everything is as expected for the Bavarians in the lineup for the 2012 UEFA Champions League final. Diego Contento starts at left back, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk starts in the center of defense and Toni Kroos moves back to the double pivot, making room for Thomas Müller.

It's the exact lineup that was expected throughout the week, meaning that Roberto Di Matteo won't have been caught off guard with his unorthodox selections. In anticipation of seeing that exact team, he's opted to hand young left back Ryan Bertrand his Champions League debut, starting him as a defensive left winger. He's the first player to ever make his competition debut as a starter in the final.

Bertrand will spend most of his time tracking Arjen Robben defensively, though Bayern will probably do a lot of interchanging among their front three. Müller likes to drift wide from his central attacking midfield spot, while Robben often ends up all the way on the left, and Franck Ribery is an intelligent enough player that he moves around to account for this. Because of this, Bertrand probably won't have the task of marking a particular player, but whoever pops up in his area. Both Bertrand and Solomon Kalou will have to be great defensively for Chelsea.

The wings are Bayern's biggest advantage in the game, but that advantage could be nullified by their massive disadvantage in the middle. Kroos and Schweinsteiger have not made a good pair in the double pivot on the rare occasion that they've played together in that spot, and a modified defensive midfielder in Tymoshchuk will play behind them in defense. If Chelsea can win the ball off Bayern, they should have space to counter attack into, and Bayern's going to struggle to deal with Didier Drogba and Juan Mata.

We'll have live coverage and updates throughout the game in our 2012 UEFA Champions League Final StoryStream. For more on Bayern, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works. For more on the Blues, check out Chelsea FC blog We Ain't Got No History. For more on the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.

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