Chelsea’s achievement in reaching the Champions League final can’t be overstated. Reduced to ten men and with what can only be described as a makeshift defence, the Blues produced an incredible rearguard effort to repel a Barcelona side widely regarded as the best club team in the world despite missing out on the La Liga title and Europe’s top prize.
Having toppled the defending champions in such dramatic circumstances, Chelsea’s name must surely be on the trophy then, some might suggest, however they face another huge test in the final, which by coincidence, they have to contest in their opponents’ home stadium. Subsequently, they’re bet365’s 15/8 outsiders to be crowned European champions in Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, where the Bundesliga outfit are 4/9 with Stan James to prevail.
It follows that Jupp Heynckes’ troops are favoured to emerge victorious in the match betting, Skybet pricing them at 5/6 to come out on top in normal time, while Boylesports quote Roberto Di Matteo’s men at 7/2 and the mouth watering showdown is 11/4 via Betfred to be all square after 90 minutes, a wager that could prove popular when there is so much at stake.
With that in mind, punters sensing a cautious approach from both teams can back the clash at 10/1 (William Hill) to go to extra-time having finished goalless, but the absence of John Terry and the fitness doubts surrounding Gary Cahill and David Luiz mean that Di Matteo might face something of a crisis at the back and it follows that the Blues’ potentially depleted defence reduces the likelihood of them keeping a clean sheet.
It could also be pivotal to the outcome as it’s hard to see Chelsea producing a display of rearguard resilience mirroring that in the Camp Nou and the Bavarians could therefore edge it, Ladbrokes making them a tasty 11/4 to defeat the Blues by a one-goal margin. Alternatively, the ‘hosts’ are 8/1 courtesy of BetVictor to finish on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline and Coral post 7/2 against Heynckes’ charges shading it following a cagey, level first period.
The unstoppable Mario Gomez meanwhile, has struck a dozen times in the competition this term, a record bettered only by Barca’s Lionel Messi and he’ll relish coming up against a weakened Chelsea back four. The Munich front man is an enticing 4/1 with Paddy Power to break the deadlock and 6/5 (Coral) to strike at any stage.
Elsewhere, former Blues winger Arjen Robben is 6/4 via Paddy Power to return to haunt his old club by getting on the scoresheet, BetVictor rate Didier Drogba at 10/1 to open the scoring at the other end and the same firm offer the Ivory Coast international at 16/5 to add to his tally at any time.