After a historic Champions League campaign in which surprises happened around every corner and stars were able to elevate their egos, we have now reached the Champions League final.
In this year's Champions League final, we have German Bundesliga and DFB Pokal Champion Bayern Munich facing an Inter Milan side that has won Serie A and the Coppa Italia this season.
And this year, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan will play their final in the home of Real Madrid: the stunning Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, which is hosting its first Champions League final since 1980.
So now that the 2010 Champions League final is approaching several hours from now, here is my official preview of this clash between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.
For Bayern Munich, the main piece of news is that Franck Ribery will still be suspended for the Champions League final after tackle on Lisandro Lopez back in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal against Lyon.
Inter will be without Thiago Motta for this match due to suspension from a red card against Barcelona in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal, and will also be without Davide Santon due to injury.
What is on the Line:
For Bayern Munich, there is the chance to complete the treble, but if Bayern win this Champions League final, they will have their fifth European Cup/Champions League trophy, which allows Bayern to keep the trophy forever.
Along with Bayern, Inter are playing to complete their own treble, but a win in this Champions League will be Inter Milan's first European Cup/Champions League final victory since 1965 against Benfica.
For Bayern Munich, their key player to watch will be Arjen Robben.
Throughout this Champions League campaign, Robben has been nothing short of spectacular for Bayern Munich, and he needs to have a great match if Bayern are to win this final.
And even more responsibility will be put on Robben here due to the suspension of Franck Ribery.
For Inter Milan, their key player will be Wesley Sneijder.
When Sneijder is at his best for Inter, the Italian side are almost impossible to beat (something that Barcelona learned in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal at the San Siro).
If Sneijder does the same as he did in the San Siro against Barcelona, Inter will win the Champions League final.
What Each Side Must do to Win:
For Bayern, they must have an attack-first attitude throughout the entire match.
The truth of the matter is that you cannot win unless you score, and with Inter being a defense oriented side, Bayern must continue to attack to win.
For Inter, they must use their counterattack to perfection in order to win.
The counterattack has been the way how Inter have scored lately in the Champions League, and even if Inter's style is not pretty in this match, it will be effective.
Biggest Key to Victory:
Bayern Munich's attack without question will be the key to victory in this match.
Bayern's attack must be able to switch play extremely well throughout the match, and make sure that they take advantage of any hole that Inter gives them.
For Inter, the main key to victory in this match comes in form of that defense that will be taking the brunt of the Bayern attack throughout most of this match.
After a great match against Barcelona in the second leg, now is the time for Inter to continue
Bayern Munich (4-4-1-1)
Lahm van Buyten Demichelis Contento
Robben van Bommel Schweinsteiger Altintop
Inter Milan (4-3-3)
Milito Eto’o Pandev
Sneijder Cambiasso Zanetti
Maicon Lucio Samuel Santon
After considering all of the facts that will be on the line at the Bernabeu, I have decided that the winner of this Champions League final will be Inter Milan by a 2-1 score.
The reason why I believe this is that a good defense beats a good offense, and with arguably the best goalkeeper on one end of the pitch for Inter in Julio Cesar, Inter will be extremely difficult to beat.
And assuming that the Inter counterattack works as well as it did against Barcelona at the San Siro, I see no way that Bayern could win this final.
No matter what happens here, this is a great matchup to end what has been a spectacular Champions League season.
And with the World Cup approaching in less than a month, this is a great final that will foreshadow what happens in South Africa in June and July.
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