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Drogba and Lampard hold keys to Chelsea Champions League victory

| 18.05.2012

Bayern Munich are certainly blessed with an ample amount of attacking talent for the Champions League final, but their problems at the other end of the pitch make Chelsea overpriced at 7/2 to become the first London team to ever lift the trophy.

True, Bayern Munich only missed out on equally the best ever defensive record over a Bundesliga season by a single goal having conceded just 22 times this campaign, but they are three defenders down for the Champions League final.

Regular right-back David Alaba is suspended, alongside Jerome Boateng’s typical partner at the heart of the back four Holger Badstuber.

Meanwhile, Badstuber’s likely deputy Daniel Van Buyten is set to miss out through injury.

Therefore, the expected reshuffle consists of Philipp Lahm moving from left-back to right-back to incorporate Diego Contento and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk playing in central defence rather than in midfield.

Chelsea have had great success in recent Champions League rounds at arrowing long balls into Didier Drogba to hold up and then building attacks from inside the opposition half.

Better defenders than Tymoshchuk have struggled to cope with Drogba’s physicality and strength and so the striker should expect great joy if dropping onto the shoulder of the Ukrainian.

Furthermore, Tymoschchuk’s inclusion in defence will leave Bayern short of a recognised holding midfielder, with Gustavo another to be banned.

This means that Toni Kroos will have to drop into a more defensive position to partner Bastian Schweinsteiger and there is a big chance that Chelsea could exploit space between the midfield lines.

Juan Mata may be the best exponent of this, but with the Spaniard expected to start wide, Frank Lampard is likely to be the most advanced of Chelsea’s central midfield trio.

He has made a career of perfectly timing late runs into the penalty box and will be well suited to fastening on to any Drogba knock-downs or lay-offs.

Lampard is 4/1 to score at any time in the 90 minutes in the Champions League odds and already has a final goal under his belt from the 2008 defeat to Manchester United.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.