The finalists have a rich European history, having both clinched glory in the Amlin Challenge Cup and Heineken Cup in past seasons.
Bath will be hoping to repeat the feat of 2008 when they overcame another domestic rival, Worcester Warriors, 24-16 at Gloucester's Kingsholm Stadium in what remains their most-recent trophy-winning campaign. They won the Heineken Cup by beating Brive in Bordeaux back in 1998 but have since had more success in the second-tier tournament - as they look toward their fourth final in 11 years.
The Amlin Challenge Cup moved from The Rec to Franklin's Gardens in 2009 as Northampton beat French side Bourgoin 15-3 at the Twickenham Stoop. Saints have mainly featured in the Heineken Cup, however, having won the tournament in 2000 and finished runners up in 2011 after Leinster fought-back to triumph at the Millennium Stadium.
The two sides have plotted contrasting routes to the final, with Bath starting off in the Amlin Challenge Cup and maintaining a 100% winning record throughout the competition, succeeding in all six of their Pool 2 matches against Bordeaux-Begles, Rugby Mogliano and Newport Gwent Dragons. They went on to defeat Brive in the quarter-finals and then battled past London Wasps in their away semi-final tie when hooker Rob Webber crossed twice to help his side to a 24-18 victory.
Meanwhile, Saints narrowly missed out on a Heineken Cup quarter-final spot as they finished second in Pool 1, having been drawn in a particularly tough group alongside triple Heineken Cup kings Leinster Rugby, reigning French champions Castres Olympique and former RaboDirect PRO12 winners the Ospreys.
They reached the Amlin Challenge Cup quarters courtesy of the third-best runners spot in the Heineken Cup and they then won 28-14 away at Sale Sharks before taking on yet another Premiership counterpart in Harlequins. Amlin Man of the Match Kahn Fotuali'i added to Tom Collins' score in the semis as they edged home 18-10 in the East Midlands.
Talismanic flanker Francois Louw returns in the back row for Bath and will line-up alongside the club's player of the year, Leroy Houston, and the in-form Carl Fearns. Full-back Nick Abendanon will make his final appearance in the blue, black and white before his summer switch to Heineken Cup semi-finalists ASM Clermont Auvergne.
Northampton welcome back British & Irish Lions prop Alex Corbisiero for his first start since a six-month layoff with a knee injury in one of five changes from the side that beat Leicester Tigers 21-20 last weekend. Lee Dickson wears the No9 shirt, with Fotuali'i dropping to the replacements' bench, while Ken Pisi takes his place on the right wing, Calum Clark starts instead of Phil Dowson and Tom Mercey comes in for the suspended Salesi Ma'afu at tighthead prop. Club captain Dylan Hartley hasn't recovered from a shoulder in time to take his place in the matchday 23.
- Bath have won their last seven Amlin Challenge Cup games against English clubs - their last defeat came in the 2003 final against London Wasps.
- Bath have made more clean breaks (12.4) and beaten more defenders (28.5) per game than any other club in the Amlin Challenge Cup this season.
- Carl Fearns has made more tackles (72) than any other player in the Amlin Challenge Cup this season, missing just two in the process.
- Tom Wood has made 77 tackles for Northampton in both the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup this season, also missing just two.
- Both of these sides have won this tournament once before and whoever wins the final will join ASM Clermont Auvergne and Sale Sharks on two victories (Harlequins have won the competition three times).
- If Bath lose on Friday evening they will be the first club to be runners-up three times.
- Saints have won five of their seven Amlin Challenge Cup games against English clubs, losing to Worcester in the 2005/06 quarter-finals and to Bristol in the pool stage of the same edition of the competition.
- This will be the fourth all-English Amlin Challenge Cup final - Bath have been involved in two of the previous three (winning one and losing one).
- Of the players featuring in the final, George North has made more metres (451) in European club rugby this season than anyone else.
- Bath have just a 65% goalkicking rate in this season's Amlin Challenge Cup and have missed more shots at goal (2.6) per game than any other side.