Super Bowl 55: all you need to know

Super Bowl LV kicks-off this Sunday at 11.30pm GMT, so here is everything you need to know ahead of the game.

Who is playing?

The Super Bowl pits the respective winners of the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC) against each other to compete for the Vince Lombardi trophy.

NFC winners, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, face the victors of the AFC and reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Buccaneers will be seeking to add to their sole Super Bowl triumph in the 2002-03 season, whilst a victory for the Chiefs would secure a back-to-back success to add to their 1969-70 season win.

Where is it being held?

Super Bowl LV will be played at the Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

It will be the first time in NFL history that a team has contested the Super Bowl in their own stadium.

An unwelcome second piece of history is that it will also be the lowest attended Super Bowl to date, with only 22,000 spectators permitted to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Vaccinated health care workers will make up 7,500 of these attendees, having received free tickets from the league for their services during the pandemic.

Who are the key players?

Much of the game’s build-up will focus on the two quarterbacks, Tom Brady of the Buccaneers and Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs.

The match-up has been teed up as one of the most exciting in Super Bowl history, pitting a 43-year-old Brady, widely regarded as the greatest of all time, against the up-and-coming star of the NFL in Mahomes.

Brady will be featuring in a record tenth Super Bowl, having won six, but will have to overcome last year’s Super Bowl MVP to claim a seventh ring.

Who are the favourites?

Bookmakers have priced the Chiefs as firm favourites to retain their title following a stellar season.

Led by head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs went 14-2 for the best season record in the NFL this year before seeing off the Cleveland Browns (22-17) and then the Buffalo Bills (38-24) in the Divisional Playoff and AFC Championship game respectively.

Bruce Arians’ Buccaneers have taken a longer route to the Super Bowl, ending the season with an 11-5 record that saw them enter the playoffs as a wild-card. 

Victory over the Washington Football Team (31-23) in the wild-card Round preceded a divisional-round defeat of the New Orleans Saints (30-20) to secure their place in the NFC Championship game against the top-seeded Green Bay Packers.

An enthralling game saw Brady win the battle of the quarterbacks against Aaron Rodgers to lead his side to a 31-26 victory, an upset that the Buccaneers will be hoping to mimic come Sunday.

Who’s doing the halftime show?

Super Bowl LV’s halftime show will be performed by Canadian artist The Weeknd, born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye.

In an interview with Billboard last month, Tesfaye’s manager revealed that the singer had personally contributed $7million towards the show’s performance costs.

Miley Cyrus will be performing at the inaugural TikTok Tailgate before the game, a show for the aforementioned attending health care workers which will be streamed on the TikTok app.

How can I watch it?

UK coverage begins on BBC Two at 11pm before switching over to BBC One at 11.30pm for kick-off.

Sky Sports members will have the option to watch the game via Sky Sports Main Event.

Featured image credit: AHeneen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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