On the 22nd of May – just over two weeks away, one of the most prestigious games in domestic soccer competition will take place in the form of the 2010 UEFA Champions League final.
The competition started out by 76 teams, and over the course of the year has seen heartache, passion and determination whittle the number down to just two, who will face off at the legendary Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid.
The dream to claim the crown of European champions is still alive for the German side of Bayern Munich and Italy’s Inter Milan.
The dream to claim the crown of European champions is still alive for the German side of Bayern Munich and Italy’s Inter Milan – with the two kicking off at 8.45pm CET.
The two have certainly ridden a rollercoaster of emotions and fixtures in the course to the final, however only one will emerge with a fairytale ending.
At the moment, early odds are favouring the Italian Inter Milan to walk away as the champions at $2.20, while Bayern Munich is at $3.30.
Inter automatically qualified for the tournament as winners of 2008/09 Series A, and throughout their European campaign managed to knock-out the defending champions Barcelona despite all odds being stacked against them.
They have also come up against the English powerhouse Chelsea FC and got the easier of fixtures in the quarters against CSKA Moscow – if they lift the trophy in a couple of weeks the Italians will do so for the first time in 45 years.
If Inter win the 2010 UEFA Champions League trophy, they would set themselves up for the treble, having won the 2009/10 Coppa Italia, the 2009/10 Series A and the UEFA Champions League – a hugely impressive result if reached.
In contrast, Bayern automatically qualified after finishing second in the 2008-09 Bundesliga and have certainly impressed throughout their campaign.
The Germans only emerged winners of one round in the knock-out phases, beating Fiorentina and arch rivals Manchester United on an away goal advantage after ending 4-4 on aggregate; they then demolished Lyon 4-0 in the semis.
The match on the 22nd of May is the first appearance in a Champions League final for nine years.
Bayern look to be without Franck Ribery for the final – although a lot of controversy is facing the decision with the club looking to appeal the call.
Ribery was given his marching orders in the first leg of the smi final after a tackle on Lisandro Lopez, and therefore copped a one match ban – although a UEFA disciplinary board later handed out a three-game ban.
The German side will be hoping Arjen Robben will continue his goal scoring streak, having hit the back of the net at crucial times to send Bayern through the knockout stages.
The Italians are currently favourites to score first at $1.80, with the Germans at $2.30, while the total number of goals market sees the evens getting a bigger following at $1.80.
So to place an early wager on the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League final, or just to check out the latest odds and markets, head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!