Halting Bayern Munich's tricky wide boys will be down to hard work and help from the Chelsea midfielders
A season of club football ironies reaches a climax in Munich, where it is advantage Bayern. There's no John Terry – so no opportunity for Chelsea's captain to redress his infamous Champions League final penalty miss against Manchester United – and no fallen favourites, no Barcelona, no Real Madrid.
But Arjen Robben is around to remind everyone of his three years at Chelsea – and, on the opposite flank, so is his apparent dressing room rival, Franck Ribéry.
Mario Gomez is Bayern's central attacker and the beneficiary of the two flank men's pace and trickery but it is the volatile wide boys, Robben and Ribéry, who hold the key to the final and are the main men to unlock Chelsea's door.
Chelsea cannot afford to sit too deep. Gary Cahill and David Luiz have more pace than Terry but they need to be aware and alert and will have to help cover their full-backs, most probably José Bosingwa and Ashley Cole, should they succumb to Bayern's flank trickery.
Although Robben likes to cut inside from the right on his favoured foot, Cole knows him well. Cole will not be overly worried when he has him 40 yards away from goal as, in those situations, Chelsea's wide left man will be expected to snap and cover when Robben attacks. Young Ryan Bertrand is expected to be picked for that very role.
Nearer the goal, though, Robben must be forced wide on to his weaker foot and be denied any opportunity to step inside and unleash a shot.
Ribéry is cleverer. He has a knack of lifting the ball with a right-footed scoop over the outstretched leg of any right-back induced into making a tackle. Having, with perfect timing, lifted the ball beyond the challenge he then races away, happy to be near the touchline, drawing defensive cover away from the centre.
Hopefully for Chelsea David Luiz will not wander and will try to make helping Cahill cover the movement of the clever Gomez his priority. In the absence of Ramires, Salomon Kalou is probably Chelsea's most athletic mover and effective runner. Kalou will naturally retreat when possession is lost in order to take up a position designed to discourage the supply to Ribéry. Chelsea's wide players would normally switch and mix sides regularly but on this occasion they are likely to stay to their dedicated flank so as to maintain their defensive shape.
Despite finishing well outside the Champions League qualifying places, the way Chelsea work, with energy and discipline, could go a long way towards helping the outsiders secure the European crown – and create another irony.