Bayern Munich head coach Jupp Heynckes believes that his side’s Champions League final against Chelsea could go either way, despite the Germans having home advantage.
The two sides go head-to-head in the Allianz Arena on Saturday, with Bayern -250 favourites at Bet365 to lift the trophy, while the Blues are +200 to win the tournament for the first time in their history and +1400 to win the final on penalties. The over/under total for the contest is set at 2.5 goals.
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Heynckes thinks that home advantage will count for little, telling UEFA.com: “The match will be open and the chances are 50-50, but it might be a little advantage to play here at home.
“They have a lot of experienced players in their team and it’s clear that the veterans, the players who’ve been playing at Chelsea for many years, want to win something big. That’s very dangerous for us.”
Heynckes will be without the services of suspended trio David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Luiz Gustavo, while Chelsea have skipper John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Meireles all banned for the final.
Meanwhile, French ace Franck Ribery believes that winning the European crown would make up for domestic failings this season, adding: “If we win the Champions League then we can forget about not winning the league or the cup this year.”
Bayern finished eight points adrift of champions Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, while they were beaten 5-2 by the same side in the DFB-Pokal final.
Chelsea interim coach also downplays homefield
Chelsea’s interim coach Roberto Di Matteo is optimistic home field won’t be much of an advantage for Bayern Munich, either.
The Blues, who are looking to win the competition for the first time in their history, head to Allianz Arena looking to spring a shock, with their hopes of glory being hampered by the absences of Coach Terry and three players.
However, Di Matteo is upbeat after a positive end to the campaign, which included a 2-1 FA Cup final win over Liverpool at Wembley and a famous Champions League semifinal triumph over holders Barcelona.
Of Bayern’s perceived advantage of playing on their home ground, the Italian told UEFA.com: “I’m not sure if it will be like having home advantage, it could go either way.
“If you look at it from another angle, maybe it will bring added pressure. It’s difficult to say whether it will or not.”
Meanwhile, the Blues’ Spanish forward Juan Mata, who pays +1200 odds at Bet365 to open the scoring, is relishing the prospect of being able to clinch a place in next year’s competition and make up for finishing down in sixth place in the Premier League.
He said: “It’s true that in the Premier League it hasn’t been an easy season for us.
“But now we have the chance to play in the Champions League next year by winning the trophy, so it will be amazing for us to win it.”
Arjen Robben expected back for Bayern
Bayern should be bolstered by the expected return of Dutch winger Arjen Robben against his former club.
Robben has been struggling with a cold in the last few days, but is confident of being ready for the showdown.
However, the Dutchman is wary of the threat of a vastly-experienced Blues side, who caused a major shock in the semifinals by eliminating holders Barcelona.
Robben told his club’s official website: “They’ve made it as far as the semifinals in six of the last nine seasons. This is the last chance for many of the older players, they’ll be really fired up.”
Bayern will also have plenty of motivation having lost out to Borussia Dortmund in both the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal, with Robben adding: “It’s the biggest game of the season for all of us, because there’s only one more prize up for grabs this season.
“We’ve shown we’re one of the best teams in Europe, hopefully, by Saturday night, we can say we’re the best.”