Champions League Final: Chealsea – Bayern Munich preview
Since his head injury in 2006, Čech has battled back to regain his status as one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premier League. Dependable in the big matches, The Czech international’s presence will provide Chelsea with an air of confidence in Munich.
With Branislav Ivanović out through suspension, the Portuguese full-back will be given an opportunity on the biggest stage. Bosingwa has been known in the past to be vulnerable defensively though his pace and attacking flair make him a danger going forward.
The former Bolton defender provided Chelsea with a much-needed boost this week, declaring himself fit after the hamstring injury he suffered in semi-final win over Barcelona. Cahill could prove to be pivotal in the absence of club captain John Terry.
Since his move from Benfica last season, the young Brazilian has had mixed reviews. Criticised for his positioning and lapses in concentration but applauded for his skill and composure on the ball, many feel he would be better suited as a midfielder. Luiz has also just returned from a hamstring injury.
Regarded as one the best left-backs in world football, Cole will be playing in his third Champions League Final after previously losing to Manchester United with Chelsea in 2008 and with Arsenal in 2006 at the hands of Barcelona. Cole regularly provides quality defensively and going forward.
An essential element of Chelsea’s success during the Abramovich era, the England international has been a reliable source of goals for much of the past decade. Lampard has weighed in with the goals again this season scoring 16 in all competitions including three in the Champions League.
Surgery to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus has kept Essien out for the majority of this season. Now fit again, the former African Player of the Year will offer pace and power and the ability to battle, as well as create from the centre of the pitch.
Jon Obi Mikel
Often surrounded in midfield by more creative and attacking players, Mikel will maintain his discipline to keep his side’s shape. The Nigerian international does, however, sometimes lack quality on the ball and consistency.
The young Spaniard has been a shining star in Chelsea’s season, providing quality and invention in the final third of the pitch consistently throughout the season.
Although inconsistent, Kalou is the kind of player who can make a difference when he’s on his game. The Ivorian attacker has a direct style of play and can often come up with a killer pass or goal when it counts.
Likely to be chosen ahead of Fernando Torres, Drogba is a powerful striker who performs in the biggest of games. A clinical finisher who possesses the ability to hold the ball up and bring other players into the game.
Bayern Munich 9/10
One of the world’s best keepers, has continued to impress since joining the club from Schalke. Had a disappointing time of it in the German Cup Final last week but can be relied upon for consistent performances more often that not.
Bayern’s captain has shown he has the ability to play at right- or left-back at the highest level of world football. Defensively sound with the ability to get forward, Lahm is a top quality full back with bundles of energy.
A versatile defender who spent last season at Manchester City before moving to the German giants in the summer. Boateng was part of the German under-21 side that won the 2009 European Championship before establishing himself as part of the senior squad for the 2010 World Cup.
Due to the suspension of Holger Badstuber and the long-term injury of Daniel Van Buyten, the Ukrainian midfielder is likely to fill in at centre-back alongside Boateng. Although Tymoshchuk is a highly accomplished player, his lack of experience as a centre-back may prove to be disadvantage when up against the likes of Drogba.
Looks set to fill in for the suspended David Alaba ahead of Brazilian right-back Rafinha. This will keep Lahm at right-back leaving Contento to slot in on the left. The young German is a defensive full-back who is unlikely to be seen marauding forward at every opportunity.
Established on the world stage, Schweinsteiger is an all-round midfielder who has all the attributes to command football matches at the highest level. The German international has spent his entire career at Bayern achieving much success along the way.
Another of Bayern’s young German internationals, Kroos is a slick footballer with great skill and composure as well as an eye for a pass. With Luiz Gustavo suspended, Kroos will play alongside Schweinsteiger holding the midfield.
The French winger has the skill and creativity to unlock any defence on his day. Often deployed on the left so he can cut inside to either find a through ball or score himself, Ribéry is often influential when he plays.
Blistering pace, mesmerising skill and a devastating left foot are three of the qualities that make Arjen Robben one of the most dangerous wingers in the world. Having spent three years at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea will know what to expect — although stopping the flying Dutchman will be another story.
Not only a goal scorer, but an attacker with the ability to create goals for team mates, Müller is developing into the complete forward. He has shown in his career so far that he has the composure to match his quality and often arrives in big games.
The German international striker has been in fantastic from this season, scoring 38 goals in 44 games in all competitions for Bayern including 12 goals from 11 appearances in the Champions League. Strong in the air and clinical with both feet, Gómez is a striker at the top of his game.