Date: Saturday 8th August
Venue: Allianz Arena
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
In the most bizarre season in most of our lifetimes, we’ve finally got to our last game. Ok, so technically, it’s a last-16 tie in the Champions League, but starting with a 3-0 deficit against a Bayern Munich side who wrapped up the Bundesliga title with time to spare, the realists amongst us accept it’s our last game.
The Allianz Arena was a happy hunting ground for us 8 years ago and many (happy) tears were shed that night. That was a different side, a different time and it felt like our time. We rode our luck and came through some challenging situations but it still felt fated somehow.
This campaign, we came through what we thought was a tricky group with Valencia, Lille and Ajax, before Bayern showed us what tricky really looked like with a 3-0 battering at Stamford Bridge. It’s getting tired now, but we have to accept we have a defence that leaked 54 goals in the Premier League this season, and that defence will be up against Robert Lewandowski tonight, who incidentally, scored 52 on his own in their title winning season.
Bayern haven’t played since July 4, when they beat Bayer Leverkusen to win the DFB-Pokal final, whilst we played, and lost to Arsenal, just a week ago in the FA Cup final. That game left us even more depleted through injuries, to add to the injuries and suspensions we already had.
The reality is, this is likely to be more like a training session for Bayern but I won’t be shedding any tears this year.
Going into today’s game, Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick, says “I can say Lampard has been doing an extraordinary job with Chelsea. They’ve managed to qualify for next season’s Champions League through the Premier League and they’ve been pretty successful after the restart. I like the way they play and how they’ve performed. It was a difficult situation when he started. But at the end of the season he really performed an extraordinary season with his team.”
Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, meanwhile, says “We have to believe, more importantly the players have to believe as they take on this game. It’s a huge task, no doubt. It’s going to be extremely tough, but games have turned to big degrees, some famous games, great games, so we have to believe we have the opportunity to do something special. We have to go into the game with that thought, give everything to the game, play with confidence, and that’s what I expect to see from the players. Not an attitude of this being a difficult match in a negative sense, it has to be a positive sense.”
For Bayern Munich, Coman, Pavard are not expected to play.
For Chelsea, Cesar Azpilicueta (hamstring), Christian Pulisic (hamstring), Pedro (shoulder) and Gilmour are injured, Marcos Alonso and Jorginho are suspended and the only trip Willian looks likely to make, is across London to the Emirates. N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been deemed fit to play.
BAYERN MUNICH (Possible line-up): Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Goretzka, Thiago; Gnabry, Muller, Perisic; Lewandowski
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Caballero; Zouma, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Barkley, Kovacic, Emerson; Mount, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi
CURRENT FORM (ALL)
BAYERN MUNICH: WWWWWW
- Chelsea and Bayern Munich last faced in the Allianz Arena in the 2012 Champions League final, with Chelsea victorious on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
- Bayern Munich have only hosted Chelsea once previously for a competitive match, winning 3-2 in April 2005 in the Champions League.
- In the entire history of the European Cup and Champions League, no team has ever won by three or more goals in the first leg of a knockout match away from home and failed to progress.
- Chelsea are winless in their last seven away Champions League matches in the knockout stages (D4 L3) since March 2012.
- Chelsea have only scored three goals in an away Champions League knockout match once previously (3-1 at Liverpool April 2009);
- Bayern have only conceded three times in three of their 43 home Champions League knockout games.
- Bayern have won their first seven Champions League games this season, scoring 27 goals and conceding just five.
Sky Sports: Bayern Munich 2-0 Chelsea (5-0 agg)
Sportsmole: Bayern Munich 2-1 Chelsea (5-1 agg)
90min: Bayern Munich 4-0 Chelsea (7-0 agg)