BAYERN MUNICH, Heynckes: "Chelsea? There are no favourites"
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Bayern Munich are understandably trying to make the most of playing the Champions League Final in their own city and stadium, but their manager Jupp Heynckes reckons it is a 'tiny' advantage.
Speaking the day before his side face Chelsea, the German revealed he is considering taking the Bayern team bus through the streets of the city on the way to ground in order to show the players the level of visible support, but he then went on to emphasise the strength of the opposition that has travelled to Bavaria from London.
'We are playing a team with not only huge experience, they also have fantastic organisation and outstanding players,' Heynckes said.
'If you look at their path to the final, they beat Napoli and we played Napoli in the group stage so know they are a fantastic team, and then they beat the best team in the world, Barcelona, 1-0 and then drew 2-2 in Barcelona with 10 men. These data is a sufficient warning for everyone.
'I don't share what you hear outside that we are definitely the favourites. There are no favourites in a Champions League Final, certainly not against Chelsea.'
He revealed that Bayern president Uli Hoeness announced 'I have a dream' on the possibility of their club winning the tournament in their own ground when they learnt two years ago that the 2012 Final would be there.
'We are not going to have this situation again, to play the Final in our own stadium so for this reason we have a fantastic possibility,' added Heynckes.
'Tomorrow we may have a tiny advantage due to the fact we are playing at home in our own stadium.'
The 67-year-old spoke about the impact Roberto Di Matteo has had on Chelsea's season.
'I am not surprised by his performance and if you look at his life and career as a player, you know he is intelligent, cool and a controlled person and Chelsea needed someone like him to restructure the team and make it more compact.
'He has Italian roots and has brought his own vision of football to Chelsea, you now see a compact team on the pitch and that is to his credit. Communication is important in modern football too and I think he is doing a great job.'
On the threat posed to his reshaped German defence by Didier Drogba he added:
'Drogba for many years has been one of the top strikers in the Premier League and he is definitely dangerous and can score at any minute. Sometimes he overdoes it a bit, sometimes he is an outstanding actor on the pitch.
'But Torres has improved enormously over the last few weeks so it is not just Drogba, it is Mata, it is Lampard, Sturridge, Kalou, all these players are top level. So it would be a mistake to concentrate merely on one player.'
Arjen Robben did not take full part in Bayern's training session yesterday due to a cold.
'It was a precautionary measure,' said the Bayern coach. 'He was able to train yesterday for 45 minutes but I think he will participate fully today and will play from minute one tomorrow.'
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