Who: Chelsea FC vs. FC Bayern Munich
What: UEFA Super Cup
Where: Eden Arena, Prague-Vršovice, Czech Republic
When: Friday, August 30, 2013
Weather: The Weather Channel forecast
Time: 19:45 BST/2:45 p.m. EDT/11:45 a.m. PDT
TV: Fox Sports 2, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer 2Go (USA); Sky Sports 1/HD, Sky Go, UTV, Sky Sports Ireland 1, ITV HD (UK)
Worldwide Livestreams and TV Channels: LiveSoccerTV.com
Referee: Jonas Erikkson (Sweden)
Website: UEFA Super Cup
Odds: Bayern Munich -135, Chelsea +375, Draw +275
Total: 2½o -130, 2½u +110
Source: LVH SuperBook (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Fractional Odds: Bayern Munich 8/11, Chelsea 18/5, Draw 14/5
Total: 2½o 4/6, 2½u 11/10
Odds To Lift Trophy: Bayern Munich 4/9, Chelsea 13/8
Source: William Hill (Wood Green, London, United Kingdom)
It’s only fitting that Bayern Munich and Chelsea meet again for a little silverware, the clash at the Eden Arena in Prague deciding the destination of the UEFA Super Cup.
The last time these European giants met was in the final of 2012 Champions League in Munich, when the Blues won their first European championship. Didier Drogba drew level with an 88th-minute header before securing victory for Chelsea with a historic penalty which proved to be his last kick for the West London club.
As the reigning Champions League and Europa Cup holders, the two clubs meet again in a match not quite as meaningful but sure to entertain nonetheless.
With revenge on their minds, Bayern will be a tough nut to crack for the English Premier League side. The Blues are pegged as +375 underdogs at the LVH SuperBook in Las Vegas on the three-way betting line.
Bayern stormed through Germany’s Bundesliga last season, losing just once in the league (29-4-1). They outscored opponents 98-18 before winning the Champions League by defeating German rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in May at Wembley Stadium in London.
So, a team from London wins in Munich in 2012 and a team from Munich wins in London in 2013. With the 2014 Champions League final being held in Lisbon, Portugal, could this be a good sign for Real Madrid? Or maybe Barcelona?
Both Bayern and Chelsea enter the match with new managers—Bayern with former Barça boss Pep Guardiola and Chelsea with ex-Real Madrid and Blues head man José Mourinho. Despite neither manager participating in the 2012 Champions League final, both will be intent on bringing home their first trophy of the new season.
As well as the revenge narrative, there is the past coaching storyline with Guardiola and Mourinho having been fierce rivals, the self-anointed Special One having ended La Blaugrana and Guardiola’s run of three straight La Liga titles.
Both teams presently are top of their respective leagues, with Bayern (3-1-0, 10 points) one point ahead of Dortmund and Chelsea (2-1-0, 7 points) a single point above Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool—only because the Blues have played one more game because of rescheduling for this Super Cup clash.
According to Bayern's website, midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is doubtful with an ankle injury. But the Germans have a healthy depth in the position and Guardiola should be able to find a decent replacement to feed striker Mario Mandžukić. And with stars Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben on the wings, Chelsea’s defense will surely be stretched.
But it’s hard to imagine too many goals being scored in this one. Manuel Neuer is in goal for the defending European champs and Petr Čech for Chelsea, and with talented defenders such as Philipp Lahm, Dante, David Alaba, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanović all likely to play, goals will be hard to find.
Who will win Friday's UEFA Super Cup?
Motivated by the bad memories of their 2012 Champions League loss to Chelsea and wearing the crown of the best team in Europe, Bayern should find a way to exact some revenge here.
I see Mandžukić scoring in the first half and Thomas Müller notching another after the break as the team that now never seems to lose finding a way to get the job done in Prague.
PREDICTION: Bayern Munich 2 Chelsea 0
BETS: Bayern Munich -135, Under 2½ +110 (LVH SuperBook), Bayern Munich/Bayern Munich 17/10 (Double result, William Hill)
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