The stage is all set at the Allianz Arena as Bayern Munich prepare to lock horns with Real Madrid in the second-leg of the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday evening. Supporters across Germany, Spain and all over the world will be biting their nails eager to witness 22 stars grace the pitch, desperate to impress in order to be on the plane for the showdown at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal.
Both teams have had their names carved on the trophy nicknamed the 'Big Ears' cumulatively for 14 times: the Spanish Giants reigned supreme a record nine times while the Bavarians won it for the fifth time last year.
In the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, Karim Benzema netted the game's solitary goal to give Carlo Ancelotti's side a slight advantage going into the second leg. IBTimes UK takes a peek at three players for both clubs, who could dictate the outcome of Tuesday's result at the Allianz Arena.
Schweinsteiger has grown in stature with Bayern since making his debut for the reigning Bundesliga champions over a decade ago. The 29-year-old has developed into one of the finest midfielders on the planet both for his club and his country.
Although the Bavarians overcame Manchester United 3-1 in the quarterfinal second leg clash earlier this month, the German international was deeply missed due to suspension. His ability to act quickly and dictate play will undoubtedly prove crucial for Pep Guardiola's side as they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit on home soil.
Schweinsteiger's presence at the heart of his team certainly shows that he shoulders a massive responsibility. Although the midfielder has not been too expressive in front of the goal or assisting his teammates, he has managed to score eight goals and contribute four assists in all competitions this season.
Mandzukic will be hoping to lead Bayern's rescue mission by beating the Spaniard guarding the Madrid goal. He was instrumental in kick-starting his team's comeback victory against the Red Devils by heading the equaliser in the second-leg.
The Croatian international is their top scorer in all competitions this season with 26 goals. Mandzukic has the formidable task of preventing his team from getting eliminated in the final and will pit his strengths against the likes of Sergio Ramos and Pepe.
Another of Bayern's stalwarts, Lahm has been versatile under Guardiola. Often deployed as a full-back, the 30-year-old has regularly featured as a defensive midfielder sharing the area with his compatriot Schweinsteiger.
Whatever role Lahm is allotted in the second-leg, he will need to use all his experience and energy in preventing Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria or Isco from breaching Manuel Neuer's goal.
Madrid's iconic captain Casillas has not been given an opportunity to make a single appearance in La Liga this season and has settled for a peripheral role behind Diego Lopez. However, he has featured constantly in the Champions League and has managed only four clean sheets.
However, the Spanish international can be expected to be guarding the posts against Bayern as he hopes to lift the trophy for the second time in his trophy laden career with the Spanish capital outfit.
The 32-year-old was on his toes to thwart Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller during the dying stages of the first-leg to prevent Bayern from scoring a precious away goal.
Not conceding a goal on Tuesday evening will be enough for the nine-time European winners to qualify for the final and Casillas will be keen to make his second appearance in the final of this competition next month.
One of Los Galacticos' most expensive players, Ronaldo will be eager to add more goals to the current tally of 47 goals in all competitions this campaign. The 29-year-old is the top scorer in this season's La Liga as well as the Champions League with 30 and 14 goals respectively.
The Portuguese international comes into this fixture having netted two thundering long-range goals in Madrid's recent league fixture against Osasuna. Should Ronaldo replicate his sizzling form at the Allianz Arena, one can certainly expect the Spanish giants to end their 12-year wait to compete in a Champions League final.
Known for his long-range accurate passes, Ancelotti will be more than happy if Alonso keeps doing what he has done throughout his career. The deep-lying midfielder has a knack of launching audacious balls from inside his own half right into the path of either of his wide-men looking to race behind the opposition defence.
The 32-year-old won this coveted trophy with Liverpool after a memorable final at Istanbul in 2005 and is two matches away from doing so for the second time in his career. Alonso will once again be instrumental in combining alongside Luka Modric in helping his team's attackers find the space towards Manuel Neuer's goal.
Alonso is also the destined man to deliver spot-kicks inside the box and does not shy away from occasionally testing the goalkeeper from a considerable distance. The Spanish international will be vital in Madrid's build up play and will also be anointed with the task of preventing Toni Kroos or Schweinsteiger from taking attempts at their goal.