The New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks collide in the highlight of the American sporting calendar, Super Bowl XLIX, on Sunday 1 February at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Where to watch
Live coverage is available on Channel 4 on Sunday evening, with the build-up beginning at 10.30pm (GMT). Sky Sports 1HD will also have live coverage with their pre-match show getting underway at 10pm (GMT). Kick-off is scheduled for 11:30pm (GMT).
The top two seeded teams from the AFC and NFC collide in what is expected to be one of most closely contested finals in years. The Seahawks boast the best defence in the NFL and come into the contest off the back of an eight-match unbeaten run, a remarkable turnaround after losing three of their first six games of the season. Anyone who was quick to label them one-season wonders after last year's triumph over the Denver Broncos swiftly changed their tune.
The Patriots will however feel confident of unlocking that and come equipped with perhaps the best quarterback and coach combo out there in Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. A healthy record of 14 wins and just four defeats this season helped silence suggestions 37-year-old Brady was a spent force.
Of the two sides, the Patriots will have struggled to win over any neutrals in recent weeks. "Deflate-gate" has dominated the build-up to Sunday's game, with the world media watching on. An ongoing inquiry into whether they deflated footballs during their AFC Championship play-off victory over Indianapolis Colts earlier this month and Belichick's subsequent efforts to dodge questions over the controversy has threatened to undermine their preparations.
Last year, Super Bowl XLVIII also had the caveat of pitting the top two ranked teams against each other. Seahawks must not of read have read the script calling for a tight contest as they thrashed the Denver Broncos 43-8. This year promises to be a true battle of the best, however, the reigning champions with the best defence against the side who lead the charts in points, yards and passing yards per game post-season.
The Seahawks have a full roster to choose from, while the Patriots are also likely to be at full strength after a few minor concerns in the weeks leading up to the game. Defensive line Sealver Siliga is expected to be fit after recovering from a foot injury, with defensive tackle Chris Jones back in contention after an elbow problem. There were doubts over Bryan Stork with a knee problem but he trained without any problems this week.
History and stats
The Seahawks tasted defeat in their first Super Bowl appearance back in 2006 when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. They returned in 2014 against the Denver Broncos where they recorded the third-biggest winning margin in Super Bowl history.
The Patriots are three-time champions and in 2005 joined the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Fransicso 49s, Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos as one of the only teams to have won it back to back. They returned in 2008 and 2012 only to taste defeat to New York Giants on both occasions.
What the coaches said
Bill Belichick: "They [Seahawks] play from the opening kickoff to the final whistle or the final gun. They play from the snap of the ball until the whistle blows at the end of the play. They play extremely hard down after down after down, week after week, year after year. They compete relentlessly as well as any team or any organization I've ever observed."
Pete Carroll: "[On the Patriots] The fact that these guys have been so good ... they've had a first-round bye 10 times. All the championship opportunities, all of the Super Bowls, they've continued to show regardless of the personnel, regardless even of the coaching staff because they've had a lot of coaches, players have come and gone too, but they've maintained the consistency of championship level play. That's Bill. That's Bill's direction and leadership."
Betting odds (via William Hill)
New England Patriots: 10/11
Seattle Seahawks: 10/11