When and where: The Uefa Champions League final kicks-off from Munich's Allianz Arena at 2.45 p.m. ET. Live coverage begins on FOX from 2 p.m. The match can also be viewed online, on demand, via a subscription to FoxSoccer2Go.
Preview: The biggest match of the European season takes place on Saturday and, while the Champions League doesn't have the finalists many expected, it promises to be an enthralling occasion none the less. Both Chelsea and Bayern Munich more than earned their place in the showpiece after causing significant upsets in their semi-finals last month by defeating Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively.
But, with the game being played in Munich's Allianz Arena, Bayern has what many people see as a potentially pivotal advantage of being the first side to play for the European Cup in their home stadium since Roma lost out on penalties to Liverpool in 1984.
We're familiar with all of it, said Bayern captain, Philip Lahm, according to the club's website. We'll sleep in the same hotel, we'll train on the same pitch, we'll transfer to our normal stadium. I'm approaching it like a home fixture.
Lahm is one of many star performers that will be on show in the final, though much of the buildup to the game has concerned the players who will not be involved due to suspension. Indeed it is undeniable that a key to the outcome of the match will be which team copes best with their depleted ranks, with four players missing for Chelsea and three for Bayern.
It is the defenses of both sides that will be most affected. The Blues will be without their captain John Terry as well as versatile defender Branislav Ivanovic, while Bayern miss center-back Holger Badstuber and left-back David Alaba. There has been encouraging news for Chelsea, though, in that both David Luiz and Gary Cahill have returned to training this week, meaning that they look set to be fit to form a largely untested partnership in the center of defense.
Chelsea will also be missing Raul Meireles and Ramires from their midfield, with the Brazilian arguably their most regrettable absentee with his energy and drive adding a crucial element to the side of late. As a result Chelsea should lineup with a midfield three of Obi John Mikel, Michael Essien and Frank Lampard in an area of the pitch that Bayern will be looking to take advantage of.
And Lampard is all too aware of the scale of job he will encounter in the final.
For me [Bastian] Schweinsteiger and [Toni] Kroos are fantastic players, they are two of the best midfielders in the world this season, Lampard said, according to Chelsea's website. The attacking three for sure are important but in midfield I have a lot of respect for them.
But Bayern has their own absentee in the middle of the park with Brazilian Luiz Gustavo also banned. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk may have ordinarily provided a like-for-like replacement, but the Ukrainian is needed to fill in at center-back.
The loss of Badstuber and Alaba comes as a particular blow to Bayern with defenders Daniel van Buyten and Breno already missing. Bayern boss Juup Heynckes has at least had the foresight to test out the side that would be needed on Saturday, against FC Koln earlier this month, with the Bavarians getting a 4-1 victory.
Things did not go so well for the Bavarians in the DFB-Pokal final on Saturday, however. A 5-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund confirmed Jurgen Klopp's side domination of Bayern this season, having also beaten them to the Bundesliga title.
While Chelsea got the better of Blackburn on the final day of the Premier League season, the Blues finished in sixth place, meaning that, as well as the European Cup, they will also be playing for the right to play in the competition next season.
Prediction: Bayern Munich rightfully start as favorites to win their fifth European Cup and first since 2001. Though, the fans will be split inside the stadium, the level of ease and familiarity Bayern will have with their surroundings should not be underestimated.
Luiz Gustavo represents a big loss from a midfield that was the key factor in overcoming Real Madrid in the previous round, but if Thomas Muller can play with discipline they should still have the edge over Chelsea's trio.
The English side will fancy their chances against a makeshift Bayern back line, but the same could be said of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez going up against a defense featuring Jose Bosingwa and without the leadership skills of Terry.
Bayern Munich 2-1 Chelsea