Looking ahead to tonight’s Champions League match …
Chelsea v Bayern Munich
Kick Off: April 6, 19-45 at Stamford Bridge.
Preview and Team News
In the build up to this game the emphasis in the media has been placed firmly on Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho. It makes one wonder that this is not a deliberate ploy by the European champion; with all the pressure and spotlight on the Mr. Mourinho, his team have no additional concerns, fear or pressureto deal with.
Mourinho used a similar tactic when his side were criticised around the time of the League Cup Final. The gesture to the Liverpoool fans and his views on other managers and players attracted large media attention. The outspoken manger from Portugal courts controversy and us alos media friendly – a great combination for selling papers in England.
Going into this game the same approach applies. Chelsea are relaxed, they have their gameplan, and Mourinho, whether he is in the dressing room or on the Planet Venus, will have ensured that his players know what they have to do tonight.
Mourinho has engendered an atmosphere of ‘us’ against ‘them’ amog his players, which has fostered great team spirit at the club this season.
Ironically Mourinho, will not even attend tonight’s clash. Instead, he will watch the game in a private undisclosed location. The Portugese manager, is extremely shrewd and he seems to leave no stone unturned in his preparations. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see, how the Chelsea players react to his absence tonight.
Chelsea’s key absentee apart from Mourinho is Paulo Ferreira who has suffered a long term foot problem. One surprise inclusion is that of Mikael Forssel who joins the squad for the first time this season. Forssell began the season on loan at Birmingham City, but injury curtailed his time in the midlands. The Finn replaces the suspended Mateja Kezman on the bench.
Bayern Munich, who Arsene Wenger said looked as good as any side in Europe after the second round tie against the Gunners have two injury concerns.
The first, Claudio Pizzaro, who excelled in the last round, is definitely out. Inspirational Dutchman Roy Makaay, whose experience and deadly finishing is essential to Bayern’s gameplan, is also struggling to be fit.
Paulo Guerrero will replace his fellow Peruvian up front,. A key suspension for Bayern is Martin Demichelis, who was commanding in the centre of midfield in the last round against Patrick Vieria. His replacement is the experienced Torsten Frings.