Hodgson: Chelsea are not underdogs

England manager Roy Hodgson believes that Chelsea will be able to give Bayern Munich a fair fight in the Champions League final.

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Hodgson would have been at the Allianz Arena anyway in his capacity as a member of UEFA's technical study group, but the 64-year-old will be in Munich on Saturday night watching three likely members of Chelsea's starting line-up - Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill and Frank Lampard - who are set to face Bayern Munich.

Despite the Blues’ dealing with suspension and injuries to a number of key players and injuries, Hodgson feels that Roberto Di Matteo's side have a much better chance of winning than many are giving them credit for.

"I think it will be a lot closer, as far as Chelsea are concerned, than many pundits are predicting," Hodgson told the Football Association's official website.

"People seem to be writing them off as the underdog for this one, but to be frank, I don't see them as the underdog at all."

"They have done extremely well to get to the final, they eliminated the favourites to win the tournament with two splendid performances.

"If they get anywhere close to those performances they have got every chance."

Hodgson has experience of big European nights, having led Inter to the Uefa Cup final in 1997 and, more recently, taking Fulham to the Europa League final against Atletico Madrid in 2010.

And, despite allegiances to previous clubs, the England boss is hoping that the west London side will triumph.

"I'd like to see Chelsea win, like anyone else, but I think it will be close."

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