Goal.com looks at the 7 players that will miss the Champions League final at the Allianz Arena on Saturday and analyses the effect it would have on their side.
The Champions League final on Saturday is a contest between Bayern Munich and Chelsea at the Allianz Arena which shall see a clash of two different philosophies on how the game is to be played.
Both sides will be unable to field their strongest eleven due to suspensions picked up in the second leg of the semi-final against Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. We have a look at what either manager will do to replace the key missing players.
| Players facing a suspension
Holger Badstuber has played just 3 minutes fewer than Manuel Neuer, who has missed just one Bundesliga tie this season. The 23 year old has earned his time on the field as he has been amongst Bayern’s top performers during this campaign. Munich have kept clean sheets in over half of their games, which speaks well of Badstuber as he and Lahm have been the only constants in the back four this season. Pairing up with either Daniel van Buyten or Jerome Boateng, he has formed a solid partnership with whomever he plays alongside.
David Alaba, talented and versatile midfielder has made the left-back position his own at Bayern Munich in the latter half of this season. The Austrian showed his strong character by putting in a man of the match performance in the second leg against Real Madrid even though he knew he wouldn’t feature in the final for almost the whole ninety, picking up his caution in only the 4th minute. Alaba dealt with the likes of Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil remarkably in both legs. His partnership with Franck Ribery going forward along with his effective defending have seen him replace Rafinha in recent months.
Bayern's defense will miss two key players, with Badbuster's direct replacement being Daniel Van Buyten, who has been out for three and a half months due to a fractured metatarsal but the veteran hopes to feature in the final to make amends for his mistakes against Inter two seasons back. With Breno facing arson charges and having not featured the whole season, Jupp Heynckes could be forced to use defensive midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk as a center-back.
Rafinha will get his chance to shine at the biggest stage in club football. It won’t be a straight swap for Alaba, with Rafinha to play at right-back, which would see Philipp Lahm move back to left-back. Although Rafinha shows great quality with the ball, his defensive errors has seen him occupy the bench in recent months. Di Matteo will surely try to exploit Rafinha's defensive inability if he plays. Diego Contento would be an unlikely replacement for Alaba, as seen when he came on as a substitute at the DFB Pokal final.
Player facing a suspension
If Heynckes decides to go on an all out attack, Schweinsteiger could do the job defensively, with Kroos providing the creativity and Muller being another attacking face upfront. If not - Tymoshchuk partnering Schwein and Kroos being the attacking playmaker playing further up. Tymoshchuk would ensure the midfield has a defensive minded player to break up Chelsea’s passing through the center of the park.
| Players facing a suspension
Mr. Chelsea will miss his chance to make amends for his missed penalty against Manchester United in the Champions League final. John Terry will be missed on the field, where he martials his defense, makes crunch tackles and crucial blocks. Terry has had a solid season, and chipped in with 7 goals. Terry will rue kneeing Alexis Sanchez’s behind even more if Gary Cahill and David Luiz are unfit to start on Saturday.
Barnislav Ivanovic has been a key player for Chelsea this season and would’ve been likely to replace John Terry at center-back if he hadn’t picked up his suspension. The Serbian who plays right-back but can slot in the center of the defense is strong, determined, has a powerful tackle as well as being brilliant in the air. He can score from set plays and even save goals with his aerial ability. Ivanovic is a real fighter and will surely be missed in the final.
Both Chelsea's central defenders, Gary Cahill and David Luiz are fighting their injuries for a chance to play at the prestigious Champions League final. They are recovering from hamstring injuries and have taken part in first team training on Tuesday afternoon, and are likely to start against Bayern Munich.
Jose Bosingwa would replace Ivanovic on the right of the defence, a player who is fine going forward but a few questions could be raised on his defending. Bosingwa would have to put in a clinical defensive performance, as he did after coming on as a substitute at Camp Nou against Barcelona, when he faces an in-form Franck Ribery who is tearing down defenses for fun.
Paulo Ferreira, John Obi Mikel, Michel Essien or Oriol Romeu could be asked to put in a shift as a fullback or a central defender if either Cahill or Luiz are unfit for the final.
| Players facing a suspension
Ramiresis one of the first names on the team sheet for Chelsea. His energy, creativity and knack of scoring will surely be missed against Bayern Munich. The versatile midfielder showed his class against Barcelona with a mesmerizing chip over Victor Valdez.
Raul Meireles is an all round and dynamic midfielder, racking up the assists in his time at Liverpool, but has not been able to show similar displays at his time at Chelsea. His passing has not been up to the mark this season, but he put in a solid performance at the Camp Nou, defending for his life.
Chelsea's midfield will suresy contain Frank Lampard and Juan Mata. Obi Mikel, Michael Essien or Oriol Romeu will partner up in the midfield and sit infront of Chelsea's defense. If Chelsea continue to play with one striker up top and two wingers, Mata is likely to drift on to the left hand side and either Florent Malouda (who is recovering from an injury) Daniel Sturridge, Salomon Kalou or Fernando Torres could give Di Matteo some creativity on the right hand side.
If Di Matteo would be bold enough to start with Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres up top, it would see Lampard in a less attacking role, partnering with one of the previously mentioned defensive midfielder players, Mata on the left and Malouda, Kalou or Sturridge on the right flank.
The Verdict: Even
Bayern Munich and Chelsea would lose their best centre-back, in the form of Badstuber and John Terry. Both players have replacements that could put in a good performance, but are currently battling injury in order to appear at the Allianz Arena.
With Ivanovic and Alaba suspended, both sides are likely to play fullbacks that are good going forward, but questionable when needed to defend, Rafinha for Bayern and Bosingwa for Chelsea.
Gustavo brings loads of energy to the Bayern midfield and is essential in breaking up and closing down the oppositions play. Ramires is a livewire for Chelsea, breaks down play and has a spark while going forward. He would have been one of the first names on Di Matteo's team sheet. Raul Meireles has played many games for Chelsea, but has been average in most of them and he will not be as missed per say as the other three Chelsea players and can be easily replaced by the likes of Essien and Romeu.
Let us know what YOU think? Would Bayern or Chelsea suffer more due to the absence of several players due to suspension?