PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - The UEFA Super Cup takes centre stage this weekend when Chelsea and Bayern Munich travel to the picturesque city of Prague. It's the first time UEFA have staged the game outside of Monaco as the one-off match undergoes somewhat of a revamp. Neither side has lifted the Super Cup and Bayern will be particularly keen to buck this trend as they have lost out on three occasions.
Bayern Munich are priced up as odds on favourties for victory inside the distance, Coral and William Hill go a top price of 1.83 while you can back Chelsea at 4.60 with BetVictor. Finally, in the 90 minute market, the draw is readily available with 3.80 with Stan James among others.
Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho go head-to-head once again, renewing one of the fiercest rivalries in modern football. Under Barcelona, Guardiola enjoyed a lot of success over Mourinho's Real Madrid - none more so when handing out a 5-0 thumping at the Camp Nou back in 2010 - but Mourinho started to turn the tide during the latter stages of his reign at the Bernabéu. The rivalry will add extra spice to a game that invokes memories of the infamous 2012 UEFA Champions League final in Munich.
The Bavarians will be looking to exact revenge after the agonising 4-3 penalty defeat they suffered in their own backyard, but I see very little value in backing Munich in any way, shape or form. In fact I believe Chelsea are the value call here. The West London club are available to back at odds of 3.0 with bet365 to lift the trophy, while Bayern Munich are a measly 1.40 with the same firm. Alternatively, if you fancy lightning to strike twice, then the 13.0 with Bwin on Chelsea to win on penalties looks good value.
The German outfit possess more quality and class man-for-man but, in reality, Guardiola has made a shaky start to the season with the resources at his disposal. Bayern lost 4-2 to Dortmund in the German Super Cup and they looked far from cohesive in the opening 3-1 win over Moenchengladbach. They dropped points at the weekend with a 1-1 draw away to Freiburg and Bayern also have doubts over the fitness of Schweinsteiger (ankle), Javi Martinez (abdominal) while new signing Thiago Alcantra remains sidelined for the next two months.
It will take several weeks, if not months, for Guardiola's ideas and methods to take effect on the pitch and in the meantime - if Mourinho can get his game plan right - Chelsea can condemn Bayern for more Super Cup heartache.
Chelsea have made a controlled start to the season under Mourinho. Consecutive wins over Hull and Aston Villa were followed up with a dour 0-0 draw at Old Trafford. Mourinho failed to start a recognized striker against Man Utd but, make no mistake, Chelsea have an abundance of riches in midfield.
However from a goal scoring perspective I still favour the reliable and experienced head of Frank Lampard, he is chalked up at 12.0 with bet365 to break the deadlock or 5.0 with Bet Fred to score anytime. As usual, check the team news before kickoff.
The German champions have five players ahead of any Chelsea player in the first goal scorer market, a clear indication of who the bookmakers class as favourites and perhaps a damning indictment of Chelsea's front men. Lone striker Mandzukic is the relatively short priced favourite at 5.50 with Skybet, but the 10.0 on Franck Ribery with the same firm looks better value for those punters looking at a Bayern player to net first.
The side markets often hide some decent value and I like the odds of 4.0 with William Hill on a penalty being awarded. Bayern were handed a penalty in the 2012 Champions League Final against Chelsea, which Arjen Robben missed, and they have already been awarded two penalties (one missed, one scored) in three league games this season. Clearly there is no love lost between both sides and an aggressive game should enhance our claims of collecting on this bet.
Chelsea were spanked 4-1 by Atetico Madrid in last season's UEFA Super Cup but I believe the West London club will fare much better under Jose Mourinho. You get the impression his players would run through brick walls for him and Chelsea are great value to leave Prague with the trophy.
The game kicks off at 7:45 p.m. on Friday 30th August 2013 and is live on ITV1.
Mark Smith's bets on this game: