Who would’ve predicted it? It was supposed to be a final between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona. Instead the soccer gods have chosen Chelsea FC and FC Bayern München to be in the final. A great choice, as both clubs demonstrated that they deserve to be in the final by beating two of the world’s best in the semis.
The UEFA Champions League is UEFA’s most prestigious club competition that was originally created as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup for the 1955/56 season, before its revamping as the UEFA Champions League in 1992. With a projected audience of 200 million viewers in 210 territories, this event will be bigger than the Super Bowl if those numbers are reached.
So how do these two clubs stack against each other? Oh wait, they’ve only played once against each other. Although these two clubs only faced each other once there are many different stats that could be analyzed in anticipation of the big match.
While clubs from Italy have the most appearances per nation in all-time European Cup finals, England clubs has recorded 11 wins from 18 final appearances giving them a better winning percentage than their counterparts from Germany. The Germans were victorious only six times of their 14 all-time European Cup finals.
On the contrary in the UEFA Champions League final, clubs from England emerged victorious in 1999, 2005 and 2008, and were losing finalists in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 giving them a winning percentage of 37.5%. Whereas German clubs were winners in 1997 and 2001 and runners-up in 1999, 2002 and 2010 which is good for a 40% winning percentage.
The one time these two clubs met each other was in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. Bayern won the first leg in Munich, while The Blues won the second leg in London. Chelsea came victorious out of this battle by winning 6-5 on aggregate and reaching the semi-finals.
Home Field Advantage
The 2012 UEFA Champions League Final will be hosted at the Fussball Arena München, which is also the home of Bayern. According to UEFA the stadium has a capacity of 62,500 by which 35,000 tickets was split evenly between each finalist while another 7,000 tickets went for worldwide sale.
Only two teams have ever won the UEFA Champions League on home soil: Borussia Dortmund (1997, final in Munich) and Juventus (1996, final in Rome), while Manchester United FC lost the 2011 final in London. Five teams won Champion Clubs’ Cup finals on home soil: Real Madrid CF (1957), FC Internazionale Milano (1965), Manchester United FC (1968), AFC Ajax (1972) and Liverpool FC (1978), while Stade de Reims Champagne (1956), AS Roma (1984) and FC Barcelona (1986) all lost finals in their own country.
When playing in Munich, the German club has lost only once in 16 matches, including ten victories. Their only loss came versus Norwich City FC in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup second round.
Chelsea also has a winning record against German clubs. The Blues have played 13 fixtures against Bundesliga sides and they have won seven and lost four. The down side of this is that all four of their defeats came while playing in Germany.
You can’t win if you don’t score. Bayern found the back of the net 25 times during the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League season leaving Chelsea FC behind by one goal. Mario Gomez accounted for 12 of the goals scored by the Munich club, while the other 13 goals came from 6 different players.
Chelsea found the back of the net 24 times with the goals coming from 10 different players. Only seven of these players will be on hand for Chelsea during the final match bearing in mind that Branislav Ivanovi?, Ramires and Raul Meireles are suspended.