Who do you think will win the Champions League final? (And SBI staff picks)

ChampsLeagueTrophy (Getty Images)

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

IVES GALARCEP

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.

AVI CREDITOR

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.

FRANCO PANIZO

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.

ADAM SERRANO

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. 

THOMAS FLOYD

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.

JOHN BOSCHINI

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.

DAVE MARTINEZ

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.

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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.

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34 Responses to Who do you think will win the Champions League final? (And SBI staff picks)

  1. PaulTheOctopus says:

    Chelsea 2:0

    Bank it!

  2. jonk says:

    While I won’t rule out a Chelsea victory, I don’t envision them getting a shutout.

  3. Old School says:

    I love the name.

    Not sure if anyone else is catching on to it =P

  4. SR says:

    Paul the Octupus passed away, rest his soul. This guy is a fraud. I am picking Bayern just for that.

  5. Tom says:

    Bayern 4-1

  6. Jeff B says:

    3-1 Bayern. Spare Tottenham

  7. OC says:

    Oh when the Spurs, come marching in… crossing my fingers

  8. Kyle says:

    If Chelsea can whether Barca’s offense, there’s NO reason why they shouldn’t be able to contain Bayern’s attack. Plain and simple. Not saying it will work out, but there’s no reason to be surprised if Chelsea win.

  9. Branstock says:

    Bayern 4 Chelsea 1 – - Bayern’s attack is totally different than Barca’s and frankly Chelsea were lucky to advance imho although they certainly played a solid defensive game. They will not be able to continue that with Bayern especially on their pitch.

  10. Brad says:

    Bayern 1 Chelsea 0…..in a stinker of a final.

  11. marco says:

    Bayern 5-2

  12. Gnarls says:

    Chelsea 3-2 in extra time. Torres scores the winning goal.

    It’s so cliche, it’s inevitable.

  13. Jim says:

    Bayern 2-0. Both goals by Ribery.

  14. Illmatic74 says:

    All logic says Bayern wins this but, with Cahill and Luiz both fit I am starting to think twice about.
    1-1 Bayern wins on penalties(Yes I know it is sort of a cop out).

  15. Drew says:

    As a Tottenham fan, any other result would make for a depressing weekend.

  16. Oranje Mike says:

    3-1 to zie Germans.

  17. Shane in AL says:

    I fear this might well be the most accurate prediction of the bunch.

  18. Patrick says:

    I honestly don’t care. I just want to see some entertaining football. Hopefully I don’t sleep through it like a did the bayern and inter final 2 years back. ( I have a hunch I will.)

  19. dikranovich says:

    the team with schweinsteiger wins, and robben has already knocked out real madrid, it just seems logical that chelsea is next.

  20. Sparta Riverside says:

    I see your logic, but Bayern have different type of attack and Chelsea is missing alot on D. So there are two reasons Bayern should win. (I realize Bayern is missing players, too, but they should be able to make up for them)

  21. sammysounder74 says:

    As an Arsenal supporter, I’m warming up my laughing muscles.

  22. sammysounder74 says:

    “The team with Schweinsteiger wins,” LOL! QFT!

  23. Greg B says:

    This is a tough one to pick, because Chelsea’s run has defied logic up to this point. Will their tactics and heart remain for the last match-I don’t know. Robben will be playing hi heart out for this silverware and Ribery/Gomez complete the trinity.

    I just hope to see some good football.

  24. Herb says:

    Chelsea 3-2 with a brace by Torres! (I belive in the tooth fairy too)

    Win one for England!,,

  25. Soccer Rules says:

    Bayern 5-0

  26. GTV says:

    Heart – Chelsea 2:1 with Torres coming through again.

    Head – Bayern 2:1 at home.

  27. Mig22 says:

    Chelsea 2-1 in PKs with 10 men after David Luiz makes a dumb challenge (although I love that psycho).

    As a Blues fan who endured the horror of the Terry slip and the flaccid Anelka attempt, I need this to happen to help me heal. I truly do. Think of me people, I try to be a good poster here. Get on the Celery Bandwagon with me!

    Ok, I’ll be satisfied with any Chelsea win.

  28. pd says:

    I’d love to take a correlational poll to see how many folks voting follow EPL week in and out versus Bundesliga: I suspect the prediction s are tilting the way they are due to that in some degree. Chelsea seems to be the fated team in besting a flat Barcelona squad, but Bayern went blow for blow against a Real Madrid side that had no such issues until the shootout. I think Bsyern scoring first makes this an entertaining match as it will force Chelsea to do more than park the bus and counter, but this game is probably going to penalties.

  29. sam says:

    3-1 Bayern, in a surprisingly open game.

    FOX isn’t streaming the game online for free, since it’s on the main network, is it?

  30. biff says:

    Am hoping Chelsea can quiet the fans in Munich and pull off the big win. I cannot stand Bayern, but have to admit that on a good night they can beat anybody (last weekend against Dortmund was not a good night). I think today’s game might hinge on officiating. Bayern is a very physical team, lot of hard body-checks and tackles. If the ref calls a close game, flashes a couple of yellow cards early to Bayern, my money would be on Chelsea. If the ref lets Bayern hit Chelsea hard, then will be tough for Chelsea.

    I can’t wait to see Drogba go up against Boateng, who is a big guy who likes to shove around little forwards. I think Drogba has potential to humiliate him. Another factor, and something I haven’t seen any pundits commenting on, are handballs. In recent games (Madrid and Dortmund) some Bayern players have been intentionally using their hands, the most blatant one from Boateng on a Ronaldo free kick in the first half of the first Madrid game. Bayern finally got called for a handball last week against Dortmund, but at least one was not spotted. See what happens today.

  31. Jeremy says:

    Bayern 3 Chelsea 2 in extra time

  32. Keith G. says:

    Bayern are just to strong all the way around. Bayern will strike first early off a Ribery goal and then Chelsea will tie it up just before half off of a Drogba header off a corner. Then in the second half Bayern will catch Chelsea sleeping with goals from Robben and then Gomez. Bayern will lift the Champions League trophy for the 5th time, and Chelsea once again will fail to bring home European glory.

  33. hawaiinate says:

    Preakness Stakes and Nascar on the ESPN.com front page with the Champions league final assigned a small box in the lower left-hand corner. Game on FOX = ESPN no coverage

  34. brownnips says:

    We have a winner