There has never been any love lost between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, so it is only fitting that they come up against each other in their first official European fixture in charge of their new clubs.
Their rivalry began during the intense Champions League semi-final between Mourinho’s Inter and Guardiola’s Barcelona, with Mourinho coming out on top.
But the rivalry hit fever pitch when the two men fought head to head for the La Liga in Mourinho’s first two seasons at Real Madrid before former Barcelona manager Guardiola stepped down for his sabbatical.
But it’s not only the two managers who have a rivalry now, though. That night on May 19 in the Allianz Area where Chelsea came into to Bayern’s own back yard and took the Champions League right from under the arms will still live on in the memory of every player that played during that match.
Bayern made amends for it by going on to beat German rivals Borussia Dortmund at Wembley earlier this year to pick up a their fifth European Cup, but they will still feel they need to send out a cold dish of revenge on Friday night.
Both sides head into the game top of their respective league tables, with Bayern one point ahead of rivals Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea one point ahead of Tottenham and Liverpool – only because Chelsea have played an extra game due to rescheduling for the Super Cup.
The two sides will go to the game without being laden with injuries. Bayern have doubts over Bastian Schweinsteiger’s fitness due to an ankle injury, but with new signings Mario Goetze and Thiago coming into the squad, Bayern could arguably have the strongest midfield in Europe this season.
As for Chelsea, David Luiz still hasn’t featured for Chelsea in the Premier League so looks certain to be out for this one.
Although Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben will hassle Chelsea fullbacks all night trying to create chances for themselves and striker Mario Mandzukic, it’s still hard to see there being many goals scored this game.
Manuel Neuer and Petr Cech are two of the strongest goalkeepers in the world, and with defenders such as Philipp Lahm, Ashley Cole, Dante, John Terry, Jerome Boateng and Branislav Ivanovic all likely to play, the forward players for each side are going to have a tough time getting through.
Up front is where Chelsea’s biggest worry is at present. Mourinho doesn’t seem convinced that Fernando Torres or Demba Ba are going to be firing from all angles, and also seems to think Romelu Lukaku is still in his growing phase as a footballer.
The Blues’ chances of signing Manchester United striker look to be over now, so they will be hoping to bring in Samuel Eto’o as a short-term replacement in the next few days.
While Chelsea’s forwards may not prove a threat to Bayern like Didier Drogba did that night in Munich, they do now have a very stong and talented group of attacking midfielders in Juan Mata, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Andre Shurrle.
These players are gifted with excellent skill, touch and vision, but Bayern are a team made of big and powerful players, who may well use their strength to push the Chelsea midfield out of the game.
With their memories of their 2012 Champions League final loss still in mind and the fact they are being heavily dubbed as the best team in European football at the moment, Bayern will be heading into this game as the solid favourites.
However, Bayern know just as well as anyone that as underdogs Chelsea won’t lie down and be walked over by anyone.
We may not get a game full of goals, but we will get to view what could well end up and old fashioned grudge match.
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