Berthold: Chelsea will park the bus

EXCLUSIVE: Former Bayern Munich and Germany defender Thomas Berthold told Eurosport he expects Chelsea to adopt a negative approach in the Champions League final.


The cup final in Berlin was a disaster for Bayern with a 5-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund. How long will this bitter defeat be buzzing around the minds of the Bayern players?

It takes more than two or three days, but then it disappears. At this point the preparation begins for the important final. It was a dark day and we should not fool ourselves: Dortmund were ice cool to take advantage of the individual errors of the Bayern players.

Three players are suspended for Bayern: David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Luiz Gustavo. Who would be in your team?

There is much that Diego Contento brings to the team and Anatoly Tymoschuk should play in defence. Furthermore, I assume Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos will play deep in midfield and that Thomas Mueller will play from the start.

In the Champions League they have been brilliant, but in the Bundesliga inconsistent. How do you explain the fluctuating performance of the Munich club this season?

There are only a few teams who can maintain their level in all competitions. Who would have imagined that Chelsea would eliminate Barcelona? Or that Real Madrid would bid farewell to a 2-0 lead against Bayern? As we saw then, the Clasico took a lot out of the two teams. Or take Dortmund: they have been on song domestically but left the Champions League with a whimper, which has been forgotten after winning the double.

Where will the game be won and lost?

A big issue will be how to play against a defensive team like Chelsea. I believe that Bayern will have a lot of ball possession. Chelsea played effective football against Barcelona, but Chelsea won’t win a beauty award. The footballing skills of Chelsea are not good enough. From a technical point of few Bayern are much better. Chelsea will benefit if they keep a clean sheet a long time.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are hungry for the first European club titles of their career. What do you expect from Bayern's top performers?

I expect them all to come out with a highly focused approach to the game. They did not have that in the DFB-Pokal final, where there were lapses of concentration and small careless mistakes became constant, like a red thread running through the whole game. The Bavarians will not allow this to happen on Saturday, and they must produce a reaction. But despite all the focus on such a huge game, there must always be a certain looseness.

What do you expect to see from Bayern in a tactical sense?

The key will be to impose their game on their opponents and get in the final third. However, Chelsea are very strong defensively because they are athletic and the type of players they have are set up very compact.

The teams met in the 2004-05 Champions League quarter-finals. Chelsea scored six goals: three goals from Frank Lampard and two from Didier Drogba. Is this a good omen for the Blues?

The game was a few years ago and the tooth of time gnaws at Chelsea. But some players know that they'll play their last final, so that can give them an extra push. This is the great danger of Chelsea.

Will all of Munich be behind Bayern on Saturday?

All of Germany will stand behind FC Bayern. In such a game, where a German team has reached the finals, you have to support them.

Do you think Bayern will write history on Saturday?

I think they'll win 2-1. But Lahm & Co. have to give everything and make no mistakes. Chelsea can make a goal out of nothing and score goals suddenly. You should not underestimate Chelsea. The Blues are a dangerous team.

Predicted line-ups:

View photo


Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so that everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Win cash in one day fantasy football contests. Join now!

    Learn how to play

    Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
    PL £1 Learn To Play [No Risk] 9/150 £1 £180 Saturday 10:00 AM Enter
    PL £2 Double Up [Learn to Play] 3/11 £2 £20 Saturday 10:00 AM Enter
    PL £1 10-Player [Learn to Play] 1/10 £1 £9 Saturday 10:00 AM Enter