We now look at the midfield engine room. As both teams should line up with a 4-3-3 formation, this should be a direct three-on-three battle. The width will come from the wide forwards so expect both teams to employ three out and out central midfielders. Chelsea will be missing the suspended Ramires and Raul Meireles, two of the heroes from the extraordinary semi-final second leg in Barcelona. This could prove to be a massive loss to the English side as both of these players would have been likely starters. Instead, the three spots should be filled by English veteran Frank Lampard, Nigerian John Obi Mikel and Ghanaian Michael Essien. The two Africans will be expected to perform deeper defensive duties, allowing Lampard to press on higher up the pitch. Ostensibly a very hard-working midfield, injuries have taken their toll on Essien and he is not quite the player he was. Nor can they rely on 33-year-old Lampard to regularly produce those exquisitely timed trademark late runs into the box, one of which brought him the equaliser in the 2008 Champions League final defeat to Manchester United. Alternatives for Chelsea include selecting an unfit Florent Malouda in a more central role than he is accustomed to, or trying the relatively untested Spaniard Oriel Romeu.
Bayern, on the other hand, have a much more youthful and vibrant midfield. Bayern and Germany vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and his young compatriot Toni Kroos are guaranteed starters.
Verdict : As long as Bayern remain disciplined and don't become too cavalier, their younger legs and star quality could overrun Chelsea. Advantage Bayern
They say things come in three's - good or bad - and for the purposes of this article, I'll focus on the good. There's horse racing's Triple Crown, there's American baseball's Triple Crown. The Three Musketeers. Triple word score in Scrabble. I'm sure we can go on all day, but there's one special 'three-some' everyone in Munich is focusing on these days. On Saturday, FC Bayern Munich will be looking to make history and join an elite group of European football clubs if they are to win the UEFA Champions League Final against Inter Milan.
Three titles, or as most football fans say, the "treble",...
Munich, May 23 - There will be a list of items going through each Bayern fan later this afternoon as they cheer their team one last time this season: Madrid. Milito. Mourinho. Milan. I would like to add one more for Bayern "missed opportunities" but there just wasn't a lot to discuss about that during Inter Milan's 2-0 victory in the UEFA Champions League Final in Madrid last night.
There's something about playing a Final in Spain that is becoming a major obstacle for Bayern. From the start, they played well; dominating possession and it looked like their game plan would continue to create...
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