2012 UEFA Champions League Final takes place in Fußball Arena München on Saturday 19th May 2012. And will see two of the biggest names in European soccer facing each other. From England, Chelsea will take on the German Bayern Munich, who will have the upper hand as they play in their home ground.
Chelsea and Bayern Munich both came into the UEFA Champions League with no suspensions, the quality of the match would probably be immense. With both first choice defenses and midfields on the pitch, both teams would have to work very hard to create scoring chances. Instead, because of suspensions, there might be a lot of goals that come off the back of sloppy defending.
Chelsea is missing Ramires, John Terry, Raul Meireles and Branislav Ivanovic. Central defenders David Luiz and Gary Cahill have been injured recently, but are expected to be fit to start the final. In any event, Chelsea is without their captain and their first choice right back, and they will be playing two central defenders who will not have started a competitive match in nearly a month.
Football fans from all over the world will gather in Munich on Saturday May 19th to watch the highlight of the European football calendar. The game promises to be an exciting one whether you are sitting in the stadium in Munich or watching on TV in another country as both Chelsea and FC Bayern Munich are eager to take home the title and trophy.
Bayern Munich’s problems are considerably worse. Luiz Gustavo, Holger Badstuber and David Alaba are all suspended for the Bavarians. That’s their first choice left back, left central defender and defensive midfielder. One of Bayern’s starting fullbacks will either be Rafinha or Diego Contento, neither of whom is terrific at defending. One central defender will be either defensive midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk or aging, recently injured defender Daniel Van Buyten. All of their options are terrible.
Last week, Chelsea took it easy in the Premier League while Bayern Munich contested a cup final against Borussia Dortmund. They were outplayed to some degree in the first half of the game, but it’s not terribly relevant to the Champions League final for two reasons. One, they were a bit unlucky. Two, Gustavo started the game. The second half instantly became relevant to the final and analysis of the final when Jupp Heynckes subbed off Gustavo for Thomas Müller, moving Toni Kroos back into the double pivot alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger. This put the midfield and attack on the pitch that most believe Bayern will field in the final. It went very, very poorly.
Kroos hasn’t spent a lot of time in the double pivot of Bayern’s attacking 4-2-3-1 formation this season, but he hasn’t been good when he has been played in that role. This is a case where stats don’t tell the story; his passing accuracy, tackles and interceptions compare favorably with Gustavo and Schweinsteiger. His positioning does not compare favorably to either player, however, and that’s the kind of thing you can only learn when you watch games. The reason Gustavo and Schweinsteiger don’t match Kroos for tackles and interceptions is because they’re in such good places that no one attempts to pass the ball into their general vicinity.
Borussia Dortmund scored twice in the second half of the DFB-Pokal final, eventually defeating Bayern 5-2. Kroos and Schweinsteiger were really hilariously poor in the center of midfield in the second half. If they were bad players, we wouldn’t make fun of them, but it’s worth poking fun in this instance because they’re obviously a lot better than they showed in this game. Kroos, specifically, was really bad. Here’s a screenshot from a counter-attack that probably should have led to a Dortmund goal, but did not.
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