Barcelona vs Juventus
|Date & Time||Saturday June 6, 2015, 3:45 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Juventus 5/1 Draw 9/4 Barcelona 8/13
Sky Sports; RTE ; ITV; Fox Sports
The waiting is over with Juventus and Barcelona coming face to face in Berlin on Saturday in the Champions League Final. This should be a fantastic final between the two best teams in Europe, hopefully it can live up to it's billing as the newly crowned Serie A and La Liga champions both look to complete trebles. Juventus come into this game in positive mood having seen off Real Madrid in the semi final the Old Lady will be confident of being able to handle Barcelona. Juventus' vaunted defence kept Ronaldo quiet over the two legs of the semi final even if he did score both Real goals he was less effective than he normally is and Juve will be confident that they can marshall Messi, Suarez and Neymar in similar fashion. WIth one of the best defences in Europe against one of the best offences this game could see both cancel each other out but to be honest I dont think that will happen as I can't see Juventus sitting back here, this is a once off game and while Juve may pack the midfield and be more defensive than Barca I think they still come out and look to win this one with Pirlo, Vidal, Pogba, Morata and Tevez key players in the attack. Tevez in particular has had a superb season and will fancy his chances against former Manchester United colleague Gerrard Pique and Argentina teammater Mascherano. Tevez' finishing is outstanding and if given half a chance he will make that Barcelona defence pay for any mistakes.
What can I say about this Barcelona team that hasnt already been said? With Neymar, Suarez and Messi up front Barca cruised to the La Liga title and the trio contributed 81 league goals a ridiculous number. Messi has shone this season unhappy at losing his Balon Do'r title to Ronaldo he has lifted his own performances and the team's back to the level of 2011 when they last won this competition. The summer additions of Suarez and Rakitic have proven to be astute moves on the clubs behalf and the team has played much better as a unit since Luis Enrique started deploying Suarez through the center as the former Liverpool striker may have taken a while to find his scoring boots but his assists and all round play have been excellent all season. Barcelona's one weakness may be at the back where their center halves are prone to a mistake and both full backs are better known for their attacking than their defending. Barcelona will also have to be mindful of the raking runs of Paul Pogba and the floating role that Arturo Vidal will take up behind the front two, both of these players can be game changers on any given day and Busquets will have his hands full picking them up.
Barcelona are deserved favourites for this one and come into this game in incredible form having won thirty of their last thirty five in all competitions. With Lionel Messi they possess the best player on the planet right now and he has talented assistants around him in Suarez and Neymar. But and there is always a but in these big games, this is a very good Juventus team who have impressed me alot since Christmas. I had doubts about some of the Juventus squad but Vidal, Pogba and Tevez have raised their game to the very top level and they will be raring to go here as underdogs. The recent news that Cheillini will miss the game through injury does throw a little spanner in the works as the Italian center half is one of the best in the world but I still think that Juventus will give this everything and may come away with a surprise win. I'm taking both teams to score as my prediction though, the best value in the market in my opinion.
I will though be having a small stake on Juventus to win on penalties at 12/1 as well. Sit back and enjoy what should be a terrific game and what will cap a very profitable UEFA Champions League for us.