I cannot begin to express my delight that we are not having an 'El Classico' final. Another cagey, roll on the floor, stop-start game of football, no thanks. Lets face it the past classics have been anything but classic, and now we have a final that hosts two teams that pair up nicely and with players that will not focus solely on trying to get their fellow professionals booked.
I am not a Chelsea fan by any stretch of the imagination, but when Torres scored, Gary Neville orgasm and all, I couldn't help but embrace the goose bumps that had taken over the skin on my arms. This is why I love football. Both Chelsea and Bayern Munich were viewed as underdogs before the 2-legged semi finals began, yet both emerged triumphant, in their opponents stadium's nonetheless. I can say that I'am chomp-in at the bit for the final on May 19th, but what has cast a rather dark vail over the event is the fact that so many players will be ruled out of the game through the culmination of yellow cards. Is the point of the Champions League final not to pin the two best teams of europe against each other? Well it won't be the case this time because both teams will playing at half strength, due to these suspensions. Chelsea has Raul Meireles, Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires out.
Not falling into this category is John Terry as he will be missing due to getting a strait red against Barcelona and deserves to miss the final for his lack of composure. Bayern have a similar story with stand out player 19-year old fullback David Alaba out, a player who has looked a real prospect so far in the Champions League. Luis Gustavo and Holger Badstuber will also be missing, posing a real issue in Bayern's defense, which has looked less than good, at the best of times.
The issue of defense caries over the Chelsea as well, with David Luis out injured and Gary Cahill limping off the field clutching his hamstring against Barcelona. The English centerback has vowed to be fit for the game, yet you cannot fight the body Gary. Let's hope he's fit. In that case heres my perspective line-up for the Blues. with the Midfield lacking, and the weakened defense of Bayern Munich leaving possible gaps to exploit, Di Matteo might just go for a Torres and Drogba combo up top:
Bosingwa Luis Cahill Cole
Mata Mikel Lampard Kalou
Luis is supposed to be back in training the week of the final so I wouldn't be surprised if they take the risk. Unfortunately the best teams will not be on display but the match up still promises as entertaining final. With Bayern's loss of personnel I would expect them to line up as so:
Lahm Boateng Van Buyten Breno
Robben Kroos Ribéry
Probably something like that.