6 Reasons Chelsea Have the Edge in Champions League Final

Greg Probert@@GregProbertFWContributor IIMay 11, 2012

6 Reasons Chelsea Have the Edge in Champions League Final

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    It's nearly here, the biggest game of the year in club football.

    Two teams who were considered the underdogs in their semi-final ties have made it through and it is set to be a fascinating game to watch.

    Bayern Munich are a European powerhouse and know exactly what it takes to win the Champions League.

    But Chelsea are no pushovers, as they have proven more than once in this year's competition.

    Here are 10 reasons Bayern Munich may not have things all their own way on May 19th.

Underdog Status

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    It has been one of the more remarkable seasons in Chelsea's recent history.

    With up and down league results but a miraculous European campaign, it has been a year of mixed emotions at Stamford Bridge.

    After the first-leg defeat at Napoli, not many people thought Chelsea could overcome the deficit and make it through, but they did.

    Then after dumping Benfica out of the competition they booked a semi-final with Barcelona.

    Chelsea were heavy underdogs and were expected by most to be picked apart by the Spanish giants. But as we already know, this did not happen and Chelsea are in the final.

    In big games against teams who aren't too familiar with them, Chelsea seem to perform at their best.

    Not many people outside of Chelsea are expecting the Blues to win the trophy, so this should mean that no extra pressure is added to the Chelsea players and they can play freely.

Torres and Drogba

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    Finally, both of Chelsea's strikers are playing well at the same time.

    They have yet to prove that they can be effective if they play together, but it is still good to see that they are both playing the best they have all year at the business end of the season.

    If either of them are playing anywhere near their best against Bayern Munich, they will cause all sorts of problems for Bayern's defence.

    Di Matteo will also be glad to know that whoever he starts will be a nuisance to Bayern and if he subs on his other striker, then he will be a completely different kettle of fish for the Munich defence to have to deal with.

The Need to Win

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    It goes without saying that a Champions League final is a must-win game.

    Both teams will be giving everything to win the most illustrious prize in club football.

    But for Chelsea, it is more than just the trophy. The club's immediate future could be in serious danger if they don't achieve victory in Munich.

    Chelsea's league form has been inconsistent all year, and they are now unfortunately in a position where automatic Champions League qualification is beyond their reach.

    The Blues' only hope of playing in the Champions League next year is to win the trophy and earn the right to defend it next season.

    This extra incentive may give them a boost and an even bigger hunger to win the game, and keep the club competing at their top level.

Bayern's Defence

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    Going forward, Bayern Munich are most definitely a force to be reckoned with.

    But in defence, they have looked questionable in some areas, and this will give Chelsea some hope of causing Manuel Neuer some problems.

    With Holger Badstuber being ruled out of the final, Bayern Munich are going to have a makeshift defence much like Chelsea.

    But Chelsea's defence have been pretty solid throughout most of the season, unlike Bayern's.

    Chelsea will want to take advantage of the pace and strength of their front men, and if they put fear into their opposition early in the game, the Germans could be in for a long night.

Juan Mata

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    Juan Mata has just been voted the Chelsea player of the year, and I don't think there will be too many complaints from any Chelsea fans.

    He has been a breath of fresh air since joining the club, and has had a positive impact on almost every game he has played in.

    He has an ability to affect games in many different ways. A lot of contributions can go unnoticed during a game, but he has had a hand in the majority of Chelsea's better moves.

    He is a game-changer, and if Bayern Munich don't keep a lid on him, he can cause any team in the world all sorts of problems.

    If he is allowed any freedom he will almost certainly create goalscoring opportunities for the Chelsea front men, and can pull the strings in midfield in Chelsea's favour.

Di Matteo's Tactics

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    The turnaround of Chelsea's fortunes under Roberto Di Matteo has been almost miraculous.

    They looked to be a team destined to end the season empty handed before the Italian took over from Andre Villas-Boas.

    But somehow he has got the players playing again, and putting in the effort required to gain success at the top level.

    He has already led the Blues to FA Cup glory, and is now aiming to bring home Roman Abramovich's No.1 desire.

    His tactics have been spot on in most of his games, and his squad rotations have worked well.

    It is clear that Chelsea have let go of a top four finish in the Premier League, and are putting all their eggs in the Champions League basket. 

    Di Matteo will have been looking at his opposition for a while now and studying them. If he can get his tactics right and the players play at 100 percent, then they have proven that they can beat any team in the world.