This years Champions League final will be contested by two of the biggest sides in Europe. In one corner we have the mighty Real Madrid. Eleven time winners of the trophy and current holders. They will face Italy’s most famous team and recently crowned Serie A winners Juventus. It is sure to be a fascinating match with some of the shining stars of world football going head to head. Who will be able to lift the biggest prize in club football?
Juventus have had a great season. Winning their domestic league and their third Italian cup in as many years. Their team has been built from the back. That foundation has seen them concede minimum goals. They held Barcelona over two games and knocked them out convincingly. Before that they had easily navigated their group before easily disposing of FC Porto. In the semi finals they faced an in form and highly rated Monaco. The Italians took the tie in the first leg when they played the away leg. They won the game 2-0 in a really classy and mature performance. The black and whites soaked up everything Monaco offered going forward and when they got their chances going forward they were clinical and took them.
The second leg was a formality. There was one shock however, the Italian side conceded. They won the game 2-1 but they conceded a goal in the Champions League for the first time since their penultimate group game in Seville back in November. During this competition they have only conceded three times. The defensive brilliance is never in doubt and that is what makes them so difficult to beat. The Old Lady don’t have bad options going forward either. Ex Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain was bought in the summer for £75 million and has been worth every penny. His clinical finishing has been a reason for so much of Juve’s success this year, as they attempt to win the treble in Cardiff.
It is not all excitement looking forward to the final. Apart from having to face one of the best players to play the game in Cristiano Ronaldo, Juve have a terrible history in the competition. Their record is not the most successful with them playing in eight finals and winning only two. They will have to battle these demons and try and play their natural game.
What can we say about Real Madrid that has not been said before? A great team. A great history. There is just something extremely special about the global sporting brand. Having resurrected their dominance in recent years especially in Europe they are back to their former best. Achieving ‘La Undecima’ last season was incredible especially against their city rivals. This season saw them win La Liga from their fiercest rivals Barcelona. For the first time since 2012 Real Madrid are the Spanish champions. Finally winning the domestic title must have given Los Blancos even more confidence that may drive them to European success. To say it is Zinedine Zidane’s first full year in charge it is impressive.
Looking forward to the match itself makes a person even more intrigued. Madrid are a force going forward. They have a great selection of top class attackers to pick from. They will be lead of course by Ronaldo but having players of the quality of Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Isco and Gareth Bale (who is expected to miss out!) shows that they are built to score goals. Juventus are built to not concede goals. This is why this final is so interesting.
The key here is the midfield. If Juventus can dominate this area they will have major success. Real Madrid need their central midfield players to launch their attacks and have the ball. If Juventus can get in their faces and dominate the ball they will stop the Spaniards getting on top of them. It will also give Juve the chance to develop their own attacks.
We believe that Juve will come out on top in this one. They have stopped strong attacking forces before in the competition and are more than capable of doing it again. In terms of the scoreline we are going for 2-0 to the Italians. The key player we have selected is Miralem Pjanic.
If you want to voice your opinion do so in the comments or on twitter. Enjoy the final.
From Everyone at S57!