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UEFA Champions League Final Tips & Preview: Real Madrid v Juventus

One can comfortably deduce that the clash at Cardiff on Saturday evening will be between the world’s best defence on one hand and the world’s best attack on the other. Real Madrid start as favourites though, having won the coveted European title on eleven occasions. But Juventus will be no push-overs this time. The awesome defence comprising of the legendary Buffon between the posts and the great Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini at the back have made the Italian giants the most difficult sides to score against. The shutting out of Messi & co. for a full 180 minutes in the Round of 8, a match in which Juventus prevailed 3-0 over a goal-hungry Barcelona, was a lesson in ultimate defensive masterclass. But that could be put to test against a side that hasn’t failed to score in any of their last 63 games.

After shutting out the likes of Messi, Suarez and Neymar, Juventus will be confident of soaking in any kind of Real Madrid attack and hit them on the breaks. In Gonzalo Higuain, Dybala and Mandzukic they have the striking combination to do just that. The Los Blancos attack are after a long time in fully functional mode with Ronaldo, Benzema and Gareth Bale all fully fit and in top form. A further revelation upfront has been the dynamic Isko, who Zidane could pick in his starting eleven in place of Bale. The pocket-sized Spanish forward has had a huge role in Real’s progress to the final.

Few of the Juventus greats like Barzagli, Chiellini and Buffon himself were rested for the last Serie A clash against Bologna on Saturday with Allegri taking no chances before the big June 3 European outing. Same cannot be said of Real who had to field a full-strength side in their ultimate Spanish league match against minions Malaga just to ensure that they get the three points to stay ahead of Barcelona.

Having won their respective leagues this season, both teams will be chasing a coveted double at Cardiff. more so Juve’s Massimiliano Allegri, the Italian giants not having won the Championship since 1995-96. The expectations for the Cardiff game is one that will go into extra time with both teams scoring. When it will boil down to penalties it could be anybody’s game. Real will have a better chance of holding their nerve, being past masters of such situations while for Juve it could be the vast experience and expertise of Gigi Buffon that may win the day for the Old Lady.

The betting odds for Saturdays winners are going neck-to-neck with a wafer-thin advantage for Real Madrid.

 

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