Champions League Preview: Can Chelsea and Bayern do the Unthinkable?
amThe second leg of the Champions League semi-final come underway Tuesday and Wednesday as Chelsea travel to Spain to challenge Barcelona at the Camp Nou, while Real Madrid will take on German giants Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu in Madrid.
Last time, Chelsea played an extremely sound defensive match against Barcelona at Stamford Bridge even though the Blues were under siege from the Blaugrana attack. It all comes down to the fixture at the Camp Nou where it is never easy to win, but still possible. Just ask Real Madrid – 2-1 winner of El Classico this past weekend. Barca again imposed their play on Los Blancos but could not score. It was the first time Guardiola’s men have lost at home in 55 matches.
This will be a very tough encounter for the Blues and the slim 1-0 score line is exactly that – slim. Barcelona will aim to get back on their feet as their desire to defend their crown is evident. The Spanish giants will be desperate to score, though, which may cause the defence to be vulnerable to counter attacks. Pep Guardiola has complete confidence that his men will make it to Munich for a second consecutive final stating “believe me, we will make it.” Bold words, but when you are the coach of the best team in the world, then it is easy to talk and back up your statement. Chelsea will need to play as a solid unit if they are to get past this round.
Real Madrid – Bayern Munich (Agg. 1-2)
It took a last gasp Mario Gomez goal to down the Merengues at the Allianz Arena last week which shows the Jose Mourinho’s side knows not to ever give up. The Madrid giants are ecstatic and full of confidence after their 2-1 triumph in the Spanish derby over La Liga title rivals, Barcelona – a feat that Jose Mourinho has not been able to accomplish since his arrival in Madrid. Next on the menu for the Portuguese tactician is his 3rd Champions League final with a 3rd team.
This may be the less defensive game of the two as Bayern Munich will want to add to their tally with an away goal seeing that Ozil scored that crucial goal in Germany for Real. A 1-0 score line is enough for Madrid to make it through. However, the Germans will be tough to beat as they are keen on featuring in the final since it will be played in their home stadium.
The English and the Germans are currently in the running for the final, but do not count out the Spanish giants who have dominated European and International football in recent years. In 2003, the first-ever all Italian final took place at the Old Trafford in Manchester between Juventus and AC Milan. In 2008, the first-ever all English final took place in Moscow with Chelsea and Manchester United battling it out. Perhaps this year is the year of the all Spanish final – an El Classico in the Champions League final! What an historic event that would be between two of the world’s top clubs. We shall soon find out the outcome.
…and that’s the last word.