Chelsea and Bayern Munich face off in Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 clash in a repeat of the 2012 final – a night Blues fans will remember fondly.
The odds were stacked against Chelsea then, but this tie is arguably even more one sided as the Bundesliga outfit’s wealth of experience is matched against youthful naivety.
Frank Lampard’s side scraped through Group H as last season’s semi-finalists – Ajax – dropped into the Europa League, and were left to rue their second half collapse in a 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge.
London has already been kind to Bayern this season. They grabbed a superb tally of seven goals away against Tottenham back in October, with former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry haunting his old foes with four goals.
Niko Kovac was in charge of the Bundesliga side then, but has since been replaced by Hansi Flick after a turbulent start to the season overall.
Robert Lewandowski’s remarkable 10 goals in six games was the centre piece of a flawless group stage campaign, and makes Bayern one of the favourites to go all the way. He will also be determined to claim an elusive Golden Boot ahead of Erling Haaland.
When is Chelsea vs Bayern Munich and where can I watch live?
Competition: Champions League
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Kick-off: 8:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 2 / BT Sport Ultimate
Online & live stream options: UK audiences with a BT Sport subscription can watch online or live stream through their app.
Previous meetings: Chelsea vs Bayern Munich
30 August 2013: Bayern 2-2 Chelsea AET (Bayern won 5-4 on penalties – UEFA Super Cup final)
19 May 2012: Bayern 1-1 Chelsea AET (Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties – Champions League final)
12 April 2005: Bayern 3-2 Chelsea (Chelsea progressed on aggregate – Champions League quarter-final)
6 April 2005: Chelsea 4-2 Bayern (Champions League quarter-final)
Ones to watch
Chelsea: Olivier Giroud
The fact that Giroud is a World Cup winning striker and yet has still languished as Chelsea’s third-choice striker this season tells you everything you need to know about his career. For Montpellier, Arsenal and France he has been a dependable contributor of goals even when the creativity isn’t flowing behind him. But throughout his career, his status as a truly excellent striker has still been doubted.
But, after a bright impact off the bench in his side’s defeat against Manchester United, Lampard gambled on the Frenchman and reaped the rewards as a result in Saturday’s victory against Tottenham. Giroud’s left-footed lash into the bottom corner showed all the hallmarks of a top quality striker at a time when composure in front of goal had become Chelsea’s kryptonite.
The Blues have one of the least experienced squads left in the competition and will find themselves up against some serial winners on Tuesday. Giroud’s maturity and level-headed attitude has never been more crucial.
Bayern Munich: Serge Gnabry
Arguably one of the stars of this season’s competition, Serge Gnabry has emerged as one of the best wingers in Europe. He has overcome a difficult spell at Arsenal and stand-offs with Tony Pulis to reach this point and his electricity on the ball is bound to have a say in this tie.
In the Bundesliga he has bagged 10 goals and eight assists in 21 appearances, among these was a sumptuous strike against FC Koln earlier this month which saw him cut inside and drill home with conviction.
And how can we not talk about his demolition job at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – scoring four goals from the left-hand side amid a Spurs collapse. Chelsea’s vulnerability at the back should provide the German international with ample opportunities to run in behind and cause havoc.
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— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 25, 2020
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) February 25, 2020
Bayern have been winning games in cruise control in recent weeks. While Chelsea have the ability to offer a sterner test, Lampard’s side are infamously fragile at the back and face 90 minutes against arguably the most prolific striker in world football.
Andreas Christensen was overpowered by Anthony Martial last week so a night of one-on-one duels with Lewandowski does not inspire a great deal of optimism. On top of this, despite numerous sensational performances, Chelsea’s midfield pivot may meet their match against Joshua Kimmich and Thiago.
It is only a matter of time before this young Chelsea side learn a harsh lesson from one of Europe’s best. Lewandowski will likely be an unforgiving teacher unless the Blues can raise their level and pass another test.