Bayern Munich vs Chelsea: Reasons Blues Have the Edge in Champions League Final
Chelsea finally have a chance to put the demons of Moscow behind them and can prepare for the 2012 Champions League Final knowing they have the edge over Bayern Munich on Saturday.
Despite the Bavarian giants having the advantage of playing in their home stadium, the Blues have plenty of reasons to feel confident of adding the European Cup to the club's trophy cabinet.
Games are still played on the pitch, of course. These are the ten reasons why Chelsea have the edge in the encounter. They are, however, guaranteed to emerged victorious.
If Chelsea manage to harness their advantages, then they will hoist the cup at the Allianz Arena. If they fail to do this, the Blues will have managed to squander the best chance they may ever have to win the Champions League.
Didier Drogba has looked rejuvenated at times this season. The Chelsea striker has terrorized defenders with his power and determination.
When the Ivorian is on his game, there are no center backs in the world capable of stopping him. Drogba is still one of the game's best, despite his advanced years.
Chelsea head into the Champions league final knowing they have a player who single handily can win the game. It is a nice feeling to have.
Bayern's Mario Gomez is good but he is not on the level on Drogba. If Chelsea win, Drogba will be a hige part of that success.
Chelsea have always relished the opportunity to play the victim to UEFA. The Champions League Final is another chance for them to play the part.
UEFA refused the overturn the bans of the three Chelsea players suspended for Saturday's final. The Blues will be without Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles.
In fairness, Bayern also have three players suspended because of yellow card accumulation. The Germans, however, do not look towards UEFA for motivation.
Chelsea does and not the London club have another example of Europe's governing body being "out to get them." UEFA are simply enforcing the rules in place, but do not tell that to Chelsea.
This source of motivation gives Chelsea edge against Bayern in the final.
The Old Guard
While the old guard may not like it, this game signals the end of an era at Stamford Bridge.
John Terry, Frank Lampard and friends may have outlived Andres Villas-Boas but changing is coming sooner rather than later.
Drogba, Lampard, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech are players whose career at Chelsea will be defined by success in the Champions League final.
If Chelsea win, the old guard will as one of the better teams in English football history. A loss for the Blues will probably consign this group's fame to the confines of Stamford Bridge.
Petr Cech was on course to become one of the best goalkeepers in history before his unfortunate head injury he suffered against Reading in 2006.
He has still been solid since returning from the injury, but nowhere near his pre-injury best.
This season has been somewhat of a renaissance for the Cech who has come up big for Chelsea several times this season.
The Chelsea back four will be buoyed by the fact Cech has been playing so well. Solid goalkeeping gives the whole team confidence.
The matchup between Cech and Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is fantastic and Chelsea will believe they head into the game with an advantage in that department.
Desire and Determination
Very few teams in the world can match Chelsea in the desire and determination departments.
The two legs against Barcelona once again proved that Chelsea's mental fortitude can not be questioned.
Bayern have not faced a team with the dogged determination Chelsea will bring to the table. The Blue will be confident of willing themselves to another victory yet again.
This is not to say Bayern are a weak team mentally - they just cannot match Chelsea in either desire or determination.
These qualities alone do not win football matches but will give Chelsea another edge in the final.
Roberto Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo knows they only way he will keep his job is by winning the Champions League Final. For the Italian, losing is not an option.
Even then, a win does not guarantee he will land the managerial post at Chelsea on a full-time basis.
There is nothing more dangerous than a man who is out of options. Di Matteo is that man. The Italian has done well in the Champions League.
Chelsea have played much better in Europe under Di Matteo and will be confident of his ability to led them to a victory one last time.
Backs Against the Wall
Like Di Matteo, the entire Chelsea organization has its back up against the wall. A failure to win the final would see Chelsea playing in the Europa League next season.
That would be a disaster for the Blues. Chelsea need Champions League football to placate fans, players and accountants.
Everyone knows what is at stake and should be motivated by that. The added pressure should make Chelsea even hungrier in the final.
FA Cup Success/Bayern Failure
Chelsea's FA Cup triumph will gives the Blues an added boost for the final. Having endured the pressure of one cup final, the Blues will know what it takes to win.
In Germany, Bayern were embarrassed by Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal Cup final last weekend. Chelsea will have surely take note of that.
A domestic cup final and Champions League final are two different beasts. The pressure and media attention are light years apart.
However, it still gives Chelsea another mental boost as the club heads to Munich.
No John Terry
The Chelsea captain not playing in the final is a blessing in disguise for the Blues. For starters, it means he cannot racially abuse the other team, unnecessarily knee players in the back or get involved in more unneeded drama.
It also gives the rest of the Chelsea squad a key rallying point for the match. Everyone on the team will want to win the game for Terry.
It seems odd for a captain being suspended being advantageous for his club. In this case, however, it gives Chelsea another edge over their German opponents.
The 2008 Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester United ended in heartbreak for the Blues.
While many of the faces have changed, this moment will be on the squad's mind. Chelsea came agonizingly close to winning and will want to banish the demons from that fateful night in Russia.
Bayern too have their own Champions League story but their loss to Inter Milan in 2010 was not particularly heartbreaking.
Inter brushed aside the German club. Bayern will hope to make a better account of themselves this time around.
A final chance at redemption gives Chelsea one last edge heading into the final on May 19.