The high tension-soaked 2011/2012 Champions League final’s countdown is now a day to go, and it knocks on every door like a storm that pulls every trees, windows and doors whenever it rages.
Come Saturday, 19th 2012 at 7:45pm, the 2011/ 2012 Champions League final match between Bayern Munich and Chelsea FC will lock horns. But, one thing that scares or rather baffles me is History repeating itself.
This year final is a special one, not just because of the team involved, but how they scaled through all odds. And the fact that, one of the finalist is to play at home, which is very rare.
In 2010: Chelsea won FA Cup, Atletico Madrid won Europa League, Manchester United finished 2nd, Arsenal 3rd, Tottenham Hotspur 4th, Blackpool won playoffs & Bayern Munich lost CL final…(Wow)
Only 24hrs will tell. And if care is not taking, Chelsea might not be participating in next Champions League tournament (thats if they lose the final). “It’s in the back of our minds,” Lampard admits.
It seems likely Saturday night in Munich will bring either a late-blooming high, or usher in the kind of summer revamp that may finally uproot once and for all that clanking old guard.
If Didier Drogba enters Saturday’s final at the Allianz Arena with a sense of incompleteness – red cards against (Manchester United, Barcelona and Internazionale) all dovetailed with decisive defeat – Lampard has often been last man standing when Chelsea needed him most, excelling even in late-stage defeat. He scored against Monaco in the 2004 semi-final. He scored in the elimination of Barcelona the next year and again at the Camp Nou as Chelsea went out in 2006. In the 2008 final in Moscow he scored an equaliser and converted his penalty in the shootout but still fell narrowly short.
Bayern are rated slight favourites for the final, this is because it’s an advantage for them to be playing at their home ground. “We’ve never had this apparent advantage for one side in a Champions League final before. More than anything else, playing at home has to give you an emotional edge.” Ex-Chelsea German born, Michael Ballack confirmed.
Both clubs will be without a handful of important players. But, Chelsea’s loss is greater than Bayern’s. Chelsea are without all their regular centre backs and defensive midfielders. Compensating for that is a problem even for the Chelseas of this world.
On one hand, Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes is a veteran who’s seen it all, but Chelsea’s Roberto Di Matteo has much less coaching experience. Obviously, Jupp Heynckes is way ahead in terms of international experience, but on the other hand, the Chelsea players more than make up for that, so I think it all evens itself out.
The little things which will make the difference between winning and losing on the day, will be from the starts in the build-up. Both teams missed out on their respective league titles this season, so the match is even more important for the pair of them.
Both sets of players have been focusing hard on this match for a number of weeks. Obviously, a lot depends on form on the day. Experience, nerves, and a fact we should never forget, a little bit of luck, all play a role.
Who then do you think will emerge the winner of the 2011/ 2012 Champions League?
Olufunsho Edward Benson
Please do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below. To contact Naija Parrot for Tips, News, Opinions, Letters and Advertisement: @naijaparrot.com