Bayern Munich’s hunt for a treble continues on Saturday night when they welcome Chelsea for the second leg of their last 16 Champions League tie.
Dominance unremitted in the league either side of putting Chelsea into submission in this tie, with a 3-0 advantage from the first leg.
Bayern wrapped up their ninth consecutive Bundesliga title to ensure there weren’t going to be any post-lockdown blues, putting a stop to Dortmund’s assault on the title prior to the league’s suspension.
The Bavarians were unrelenting in their Champions League group too and their opposition did little to prevent a charge on the top spot, although inevitable. Words deceive you when describing the stats behind their dominance, however – 6 wins from 6, with 24 goals and only shipping 5 at the other end.
Lewandowski showing no signs of slowing.
Behind their dominance was a certain Polish international who goes by the name of Robert Lewandowski, the serial goalscorer was addicted to scoring goals in qualification and topped the charts with 10 goals.
He is unarguably the best striker on the planet and continues to propel his game to the next level as he approaches his 32nd birthday.
Although the scoreline will suggest that Lewandowski and co have one foot into the quarter-finals of the competition, if anyone can pull off one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history, it’s Chelsea.
Uphill Battle For Frank & The Blues.
Frank Lampard’s young-guns tasted FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal last weekend but this second leg match represents a one-off opportunity to redeem their beleaguered performance.
A disappointing defeat in the final was unable to remove the gloss from an otherwise successful season for Lampard in his first year in charge. The Blues finished 4th in the Premier League and have already strengthened in preparation for next season with the additions of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.
The forward-thinking methods of Lampard work in tandem with Chelsea’s philosophy and while a transfer ban threatened to curtail their chances of European football in pre-season, this forced Lampard into utilising the prospects that were submerged within the goldmine of Chelsea’s infamous academy.
A Growing Experienced Youth Culture An Advantage?
The likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Billy Gilmour and Reece James have all been beneficiaries of Chelsea’s transfer ban – playing regular football – and excelling at the top rung of the ladder.
Perhaps it’s the relative inexperience of Frank Lampard’s side that has been their Achilles heel on some occasions, while the fearlessness associated with young players the key to unlocking an unlikely passage into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Chelsea were equally matched in their group, finding themselves locked in a three-way tussle between Ajax and Valencia with the latter prevailing as group winners.
Although the Pensioners could count themselves lucky to have snatched 2nd spot away from when Ajax, having held last years semi-finalists to a 4-4 draw.
Benjamin Pavard is ruled out of the tie with an ankle injury, but otherwise, Hansi Flick has a fully fit squad to choose from.
Having squandered any opportunity of lifting the FA Cup, Chelsea will be without two key figures who started that fixture, with Cesar Azplicueta and Christian Pulisic both sidelined due to hamstring injuries. Marcos Alonso’s late dismissal in the first leg means he will have to watch on from the side, while Jorginho’s accumulation of yellow cards rules him out of the contest. Pedro (shoulder), Gilmour (knee) and Loftus-Cheek (hamstring) will also miss out on what looks increasingly likely to be their final fixture of the 19/20 campaign.
Hansi Flick’s side have gone from strength to strength since, romping to the German double amid a 17-match winning run. Chelsea have nothing to lose and an early goal may reignite this tie, but the hosts are simply too strong to let their commanding lead slip.
Bayern have what Chelsea don’t – a world-class operator in the final third and someone who is capable of dispatching opportunities on a consistent basis. With Werner arriving through the door, Chelsea have gone a long way to fixing their striking dilemma for the next campaign with the German’s explosive finishing ability.
Chelsea have an expected goal ratio of 76.23 that ranks them in 2nd place in the Premier League – one place above Champions Liverpool. While it’s their chances converted that is the telling statistic – creating 74 big chances – with a conversion ratio of 13.9%, ranking them 10th in the division. Werner’s arrival will improve on that statistic next season, but in a contest against a world-class like Bayern when chances are at a premium, Chelsea notoriously struggle to convert and it’s hard to foresee their fortunes changing here.
At the time of researching odds, there were only a few select bookmakers available to review for this fixture. More bookmakers than those shown will inevitably catch up and also offer odds on the markets mentioned below. If you are looking for an alternate bookmaker or not sure which online bookmaker to register with, you can check out our recommended football betting apps page.
Chelsea are without a win in seven away matches in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds (D4 L3) – losing their last two – since a 1-0 first-leg success at Benfica in the quarter-finals of their victorious 2011/12 campaign. The past is ominous for Chelsea but stranger things have happened in this competition, although I’d still back Bayern to comfortably dispatch their opposition, having kept a clean sheet in two out of their three qualifying games. A safe bet is Bayern to win and both teams to score – NO.
SkyBet – 2/1*
Bet365 – 13/8*
Unibet – 33/20*
Serge Gnabry netted twice the last time these two sides met in February, exploiting Chelsea’s bewildered backline – while he will be hoping to continue his terrorisation on home turf. The German International boasts a relatively high price in the UK’s biggest betting markets, with a bet on him to score first.
Unibet – 5/1*
Bet365 – 4/1*
SkyBet – 4/1*
Value boosts and Bet Builders
With the game swiftly approaching, SkyBet are offering a number of boosts, but one that catches the eye is Robert Lewandowski to score first and Bayern to win 3-0 or 3-1 at 11/1*. Although the outcome is unlikely given the probability of predicting the correct result, the Pole’s phenomenal goalscoring record during this campaign is surely worth a punt at.
Chelsea will be forced to soak unrelenting pressure from Bayern Munich and for that reason, a yellow card bet is a considerable avenue. Kurt Zouma has committed 9 fouls and received two yellow cards thus far in the competition and this is a statistic that will encourage the forward line of Hansi Flick’s side. Using the bet365 bet builder tool, you can get Zouma to be carded, Lewandowski to score and Bayern to win at odds of 9/2*.
Check out our list of the best UK football betting apps if you are not sure which online bookmaker to use.
Bayern look nailed on for a passage into the quarter-finals, having completed their hard work in the first leg. But statistics are there to be beaten and Frank Lampard’s side won’t be forced into submission without providing a test to their opposition.
The Blue’s haven’t shirked the challenge in the big matches throughout this campaign, often dominating the ball, while lacking the ruthlessness to convert their number of foraged opportunities. Their 54% possession against Manchester City in a 2-1 loss was a testament to their capabilities with the ball and highlighted further underlying issues without it.
Chelsea aren’t expected to control possession in this encounter, but they do require a lethal streak when they make an expected rare break into opposition territory – a lethal streak that has deceived them throughout this campaign. Should Chelsea get the first goal, then we do have a game on our hands, but it is hard to foresee anything other than Bayern cruising to victory.
Author: Tom Griffin