A visual treat awaits the viewers this Saturday at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, when Barcelona lock horns with Juventus in the Champions League final. With both sides chasing a treble after getting their hands on their respective leagues and domestic cups, the heat will be on both these European Heavyweights.
After a wait of five long years an Italian club will be the finals of this showpiece event (last Italian team to reach the finals were Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan in 2010). Here is the Juventus vs Barcelona match preview.
Juventus vs Barcelona Match Preview
Road to the Finals
Barcelona: They have powered their way into the finals of the Champions League winning 10 of their 12 games. It’s been an extraordinary run for the Catalan Giant. They lost only to PSG at the Parc des Princes in the group stage of the tournament and in the second leg at the Munich Arena. That latter defeat was really a victory, as they won the tie with an aggregate of 5-3 and a ticket to Berlin, where they will meet Juventus. Bianconeri will definitely be wary of the fact that how Barcelona have demolished the big guns in the form of Manchester City, PSG and Bayern Munich in the group stages, quarter finals and semi-finals respectively.
Juventus: They might not have scored a handful of goals throughout the competition but the Old Lady have got the job done more often than not with their rock solid defense and wonderful counter attacks complimented by some well worked out set pieces. Their knockout fixtures were more than difficult. They first came up against Borussia, but made it a one sided affair demolishing the German club 5-1 on aggregate. They went past Monaco in the quarter finals courtesy a penalty from the ever reliable Arturo Vidal in Turin. But in the semi-finals, Juventus shocked one and all when they triumphed against the mighty Real Madrid showing great character in both the legs to win 3-2 on aggregate.
Barcelona’s attack against the Juventus wall
The Catalans have got arguably the best three attacking players in the world at present upfront in the form of Messi , Suarez and Neymar who have been at their very best throughout the group stages as well as in the knockout rounds of the Champions League. Their deadly coordination has left even defences like Bayern and PSG shell-shocked. But those three will have their task cut out when they come up against probably the best defensive side in the competition in Juventus, who will be without their star centre-back Chiellini who has been ruled out of the final owing to a calf injury.
Key men : Players to stick your eyes on
Barcelona: Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Mascherano, Ter Stegen
Juventus: Tevez, Vidal, Morata, Pogba, Buffon
Battle of the Managers
Massimiliano Allegri was an almost apologetic choice for Juventus once Antonio Conte walked away from the club last summer. It has been a season to recall why Allegri was so hailed in Italy when winning the double with AC Milan in the 2010-11 season. He suffered a fall from grace after that point. But his tactics and managerial skills in Juventus proved it wasn’t his fault, Milan side was really ordinary at that time. This season Allegri has built a fantastic team, core of the team is similar to Conte’s, but he made some alterations of his own, and taken Juventus to a point his predecessor could never reach. A treble of trophies beckons should victory be achieved.
Luis Enrique, a hero as former a Barcelona player has fought off the dissent of many, including at one point January of Lionel Messi and stands on the brink of emulating Pep Guardiola’s maiden campaign feat of winning a treble.
Predicted lineup for the final
Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Barzagli, Evra; Marchisio, Pirlo, Pogba; Vidal; Tévez, Morata.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba: Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta: Messi, Suárez, Neymar.
Match: Juventus vs Barcelona
Date: June 6, 2015
Stadium: Olympiastadion Berlin
Kick Off Time: 20:45(CET/Local Time), 12.15AM(IST)
Like every UCL final, it’s going to be an exciting one. But Juventus missing one of their star player’s in the form of Chiellini the onus will be on the rest of the defenders as well as the holding midfielders in Pogba and Vidal to bring out their best game and stop the might trio of MSN from penetrating the Juventus Wall. Barcelona on the other hand will be very much determined to give their midfield maestro Xavi an overwhelming send off by winning the Champions League. Both team are on the verge to winning the treble. It will be a mouth-watering clash.
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