Chelsea. Bayern Munich. One game for Europe's bragging rights.
The two clubs fought their way to the UEFA Champions League final (FOX, 2:45 p.m., Saturday), and while both will have to overcome some personnel absences Saturday at Allianz Arena in Munich, players like Franck Ribery, Didier Drogba, Mario Gomez, Frank Lampard, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ashley Cole, Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer and Petr Cech carry the starpower and international cache to turn in a memorable final.
Despite plenty of signs — home-field advantage, more prolific attack, Chelsea's weakened defense — pointing in Bayern Munich's favor, only a slight majority of polled SBI staffers believe that the German club will lift the trophy in their home stadium to claim their first European title since 2001 and deny Chelsea of their first-ever UCL title.
What's your prediction for the Champions League final? Cast your vote and check out SBI's staff predictions after the jump:
SBI STAFF PICKS
Chelsea 2, Bayern Munich 1: Bayern's high-octane attack will trouble Chelsea early on, but if the Blues can weather that storm they can certainly win. Didier Drogba makes the difference as he finishes his chances to help Chelsea lift the trophy.
Chelsea 2, Bayern Munich 1: The Blues have defied logic all tournament long. Doesn't get any more logic-defying than winning a Champions League title in the opponent's home stadium with a patchwork lineup. Didier Drogba cements his legacy with even more heroics, and Frank Lampard scores the winner from the penalty spot.
Chelsea 3, Bayern Munich 2: Mario Gomez will give the hosts the lead with a first-half goal, but Chelsea will pull one back through Didier Drogba. Bayern Munich will again take the lead off a goal from Franck Ribery, but once again Chelsea will pull level off a finish from Drogba to force extra time. That's where none other than Fernando Torres will be the hero, scoring the winner in the second extra time period to give Chelsea that all-elusive Champions League title.
Bayern Munich 2 Chelsea 1: Franck Ribery gives a masterful performance, scoring a brace for Bayern to seal the trophy. Dider Drogba tallies late, but it isn't enough as Chelsea is sent into an offseason of uncertainty.
Bayern Munich 2, Chelsea 1: Franck Ribery has his way with Chelsea's patchwork back line, bagging the first goal and setting up Mario Gomez' clincher as Bayern celebrate the title in front of their home fans.
Bayern Munich 3, Chelsea 1: Mario Gomez gets a first-half double, but Didier Drogba pulls one back just after halftime. Bayern puts it away when Arjen Robben scores against his former club in stoppage time.
Bayern Munich 3, Chelsea 1: It's not the Clasico everyone was expecting, but it's the flaws in both sides that will make this an interesting bout. Though a recipe for success in the past, Chelsea's aged personnel will break down early, allowing Franck Ribery, Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben to press the Blues back on their way to victory. No matter what, Drogba will score – just because.
How did you vote? Who do you think will win the UEFA Champions League title? How will it all go down?
Share your thoughts below.