UEFA Champions League Final: What Bettors Need to Know

UEFA Champions League Final: What Bettors Need to Know

UEFA Champions League Final: What Bettors Need to Know
By Ashton Grewal
Covers.com

Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea

Odds:
Bayern (-123), Chelsea (+364), Draw full time (+295)

Total goals: Over 2.5 (+100), Under 2.5 (-110)

Recent play:

Chelsea is 13-3-4 in all matches since Roberto Di Matteo became caretaker manager and most recently topped Blackburn Rovers in its EPL season finale.

Bayern lost 5-2 to Bundesliga champion Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup final. The Bavarians looked bad in the loss to their league rival but it could just be that Dortmund has their number. Bayern dropped all three matches to Dortmund this season.

Match location:

Bayern’s home stadium, Allianz Arena, was the predetermined site for the Champions League final. The German side receives a monumental advantage against Chelsea playing on friendly ground.

"It's a final and you would think that the chances are 50-50, but to play at your own stadium and have your own dressing room is a huge advantage," Chelsea keeper Petr Cech told CTK.

Bayern is 23-2-1 in all home matches this season and it averaged 2.88 goals for compared to 0.35 goals against in its 17 league home games.

Chelsea shows just one win in its six away CL matches (1-2-3) and went 6-7-6 in 19 away dates in the Premier League.

Suspensions and lineups:

Both sides enter Saturday’s match with significant players missing due to suspensions. Chelsea will field at least four different players in its starting 11. Ramirez, Raul Meireles, Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry will all be watching in street clothes.

Gary Cahill and David Luiz are expected to be the two starting center backs but both are coming off injuries. Cahill pulled his hamstring in the Champions League semifinal against Barcelona and Luiz hasn’t played since the middle of April because of a similar injury.

Cahill is a reliable defender but Luiz will be playing in his first Champions League match and tactical positioning isn’t one of his strengths.

The Blues are expected to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation. Didier Drogba will start and play up front with Juan Mata, Frank Lampard and Salomon Kalou behind him. There are rumors Fernando Torres could start with Drogba.

Bayern is also missing key defensive players. Daniel van Buyten, who hasn’t been a part of the first team all season, is expected to start at center back and attacking midfielder Toni Kroos will likely be asked to slide back and share the holding midfield position with Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Motivation/pressure:

It's the Champions League final, considered the top prize for club competition, so everyone involved desperately wants to raise the trophy. But there are a few consequences for each side bettors shouldn't ignore.

Bayern was runner-up in its domestic league and the German Cup. The season will be a huge disappoint for club supporters if this group blows its last chance to secure some hardware. Losing at home to a side many consider to be long on age and short on talent would be a punch to stomach for Bayern fans.

Chelsea's domestic season was even more disappointing that Bayern. The Blues finished outside the top four, which means they will not qualify for the Champions League next season - unless they win the match on Saturday. (Defending champions automatically earn a berth into the following year's draw).

This is could be the last hurray for several key contributors for Chelsea over the last seven or eight years. Drogba and Lampard are both expected to leave or lose their starting spot by next season.

Expect goals:

There are seven starters missing in this game and, as SI’s Grant Wahl pointed out, all but one are defensive-minded players.

Bayern plays more aggressive on its own pitch and Chelsea will suffer with Luiz out there.

The Blues should see more of the ball then they did against Barcelona and even if they don’t, they’ve shown they will stick home the few quality chances they get on the counter attack.

Lean: Bayern and the over

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