Champions League Final - Match Preview

21 May 2010 06:56

Bayern Munich and Internazionale go head-to-head in the Champions League final in Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday evening.

The Bavarian giants are hunting a fifth European Cup success, which would move them level with Liverpool, while Inter chase a third crown nearly 30 years after their last appearance in the final.

Jose Mourinho's Inter upset the odds in the semi-finals by knocking out reigning champions Barcelona, while Louis van Gaal's Bayern have accounted for the likes of Manchester United and Lyon.

Bayern are certain to be without French ace Franck Ribery, whose appeal against a three-match ban for being sent off in the first leg of the semi-final against Lyon has been unsuccessful. One of Hamit Altintop or Danijel Pranjic is likely to be called in to replace Ribery, while van Gaal must decide whether to continue with Diego Contento in central defence rather than recall Martin DeMichelis.

Brazilian midfielder Thiago Motta misses out for Inter after being red-carded in the second leg of the semi-final victory over Barcelona for pushing Sergio Busquets in the face.

Inter also have a major doubt over veteran Colombia defender Ivan Cordoba, who suffered a thigh injury in his side's Coppa Italia final win over Roma and missed the final league game of the campaign. Mario Balotelli is expected to recover from a leg muscle problem to feature, most likely on the bench.

Bayern go into the game on a high after sealing a domestic double, winning 3-1 at Hertha Berlin on the final day of the league season to seal the Bundesliga table, while last weekend they sealed a 4-0 victory in the German Cup final against Werder Bremen.

In Europe, Louis van Gaal's men won both legs of their semi-final against Lyon, winning 1-0 in Germany before an Ivica Olic hat-trick ensured a superb 3-0 victory in the second leg in France.

Inter have also wrapped up a domestic double, beating Roma 1-0 in the Coppa Italia final before edging out the same side on the final day of the Serie A campaign - winning 1-0 against Siena to retain Lo Scudetto.

In Europe, Jose Mourinho's side were edged out 1-0 in the second leg of their semi-final against Barcelona, having put on a superb display in the first leg by winning 3-1 at the San Siro. They won both legs of their quarter-final against CSKA Moscow by a single goal and have conceded a mere nine goals in their run to the Madrid final.

Surprisingly these two clubs have only met four times in European competition, the last during the 2006-07 Champions League when a last-gasp Patrick Vieira goal earned Inter a 1-1 draw at Bayern in Group B, after late strikes by Claudio Pizarro and Lukas Podolski gave the Germans a 2-0 victory in the San Siro.

Prior to those two games, the only previous meetings of the sides came in the third round of the 1988-89 UEFA Cup campaign. Having won the first leg 2-0 in Germany, Inter looked odds-on to progress, only for Bayern to seal a stunning 3-1 win in the San Siro to progress on away goals.

Source: DSG