The biggest match of the European club season gets underway at 2.45 p.m. when Bayern Munich take on Chelsea in Bayern's own Allianz Arena. While the identity of the two teams is something of a surprise it still promises to be an enthralling spectacle. Live coverage of the match is being provided for by FOX. A live stream of the match is available at Uefa.com.
Bayern Munich became the first side to play for the European Cup at home since Roma in 1984, courtesy of a nail-biting, yet fully-deserved, penalty shootout victory over Real Madrid in the semi-finals. Chelsea, meanwhile, had a similarly dramatic path to the final as they produced a determined rearguard effort to defeat the holders Barcelona.
Both clubs have saved their best performances for Europe this season. Juup Heynckes' Bayern finished second to Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, while also losing out to the same foes in the final of the DFB-Pokal last week.
Chelsea may have won their FA Cup final, but that cannot disguise from a well-below par Premier League campaign that saw the perennial top-four side finish sixth. Since replacing Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo may have been unable to turn around the team's performances, but he has guided the Blues, against the odds, to their second Champions League final. And there are several of players still in the Chelsea squad that will be looking to put behind the memories of their final in 2008, when they had one hand on the trophy, before losing a dramatic penalty shootout to Manchester United.
However, Chelsea by no means has a monopoly on trying to make amends for past failures in the competition. It is only two years removed from Bayerrn's last appearance in the final when they were comfortably put to the sword by Internazionale.
The team news leading up to the clash has been dominated by how both sides will overcome their bevy of suspensions. Bayern have brought in Diego Contento and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk to their back line in place of David Alaba and Holger Badstuber, respectively. In midfield, the loss of Luiz Gustavo is covered for by Toni Kroos dropping back alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller coming into the side in an advanced midfield role.
Chelsea is thankful that David Luiz and Gary Cahill have been passed fit to team up in the center of defense in the absence of John Terry. Jose Bosingwa replaces Branislav Ivanovic at right-back, but the big surprise is the inclusion of Ryan Bertrand in an advanced left-sided midfield role.
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Tymoshchuk, Contento; Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Robben, Muller, Ribery; Gomez.
Subs: Butt, Van Buyten, Rafinha, Pranjic, Petersen, Olic, Usami.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bosingwa, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Lampard; Kalou, Mata, Bertrand; Drogba.
Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Essien, Romeu, Malouda, Sturridge, Torres.
Prediction: The home comforts Bayern will experience from playing at the Allianz should help them to settle the better of the two sides. And, while suspensions will impact both sides, Ramires' ability on the counter for Chelsea means he could be the biggest loss on the day.
Despite the loss of Luiz Gustavo, Bayern should be able to gain control of the crucial center of the pitch and with the quality and versatility of their attacking options may well have just too much for Chelsea.
Bayern Munich 2-1 Chelsea