Football

Di Matteo ready for the final

Roberto Di Matteo says that Chelsea 'have the quality and experience to win' the Champions League final on Saturday.

Just ten weeks after taking over at Stamford Bridge following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, Di Matteo believes he faces his toughest managerial challenge so far.

The Blues face Bayern Munich in their own stadium on Saturday, looking to take home the European Cup for the first time since the club was founded 107 years ago.

The Italian caretaker boss knows that it's not going to be an easy game but also not impossible.

"Both teams have a chance to win," he said in a press conference held on Tuesday. "It is 50-50 and we will try to do our best.

"This game can decide the history of our football club. It would obviously be the first time we would win the Champions League. That's all that matters and all we are focussing on.

"It's a big game for the club and our players. It's a massive game. But we have to go into it with the knowledge that we have the quality and experience to win it and that's all."

However, Di Matteo will attempt to pull together a Chelsea side decimated by injuries and suspensions.

The West London club will be without their captain John Terry, full-back Branislav Ivanovic and midfield duo Ramieres and Raul Meireles. But, the Chelsea boss says they can still contribute to the team's preparations.

"We have a few players suspended for the final and we have to try and find a solution with a good balance in our team and put a strong team out that is confident of winning the final.

"The suspended players will have to support the rest of the team and the squad and be influential in the build-up this week and on the day of the game with the experience they have."

Bayern also suffer suspensions with the likes of Holger Badstuber, David Alaba and Gustavo, but Di Matteo believes Chelsea still face a tough challenge and is wary of the Germans playing on their home ground.

"Maybe, because of the environment and the pitch it could give them an advantage, but on the other side they have a bit of extra pressure playing at home, so I'm not sure if it is or isn't an advantage."

The former Blues midfielder is taking little notice of Bayern's 5-2 defeat in the German Cup Final against Borussia Dortmund last weekend.

Chelsea, who are uncertain about the availability of defenders David Luiz and Gary Cahill due to hamstring injuries, must win the final on Saturday to guarantee Champions League football next year, after finishing sixth place in the Premier League this season.

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
UEFA Champions League

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