Saturday, 3 June 2017

UCL Final: Juventus vs Real Madrid Match Preview, Team News And Possible Lineups

There has never been a repeat winner of the UEFA Champions League.
Juventus vs Real Madrid
2016/17 UEFA Champions League Final
Date: Saturday, 3rd June 2017
Kick-off at 19:45 Nigerian Time
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales
Juventus and Real Madrid are set to take the field in Cardiff on Saturday with the eyes on the glorious UEFA Champions League trophy.

Italian football has somewhat taken a backseat, of sorts, in recent times, with several giants like AC Milan and Inter Milan not being able to stamp their authority in Europe.

However, Juventus have been carrying the mantle alone in the Champions League, impressing everyone with their structure. They will be eyeing to become the first team to win the title on a unbeaten note since Manchester United did the same in 2007/08.

The Old Lady have already won the Serie A and Italian Cup. A win in Cardiff will make them the ninth team to win a treble. 

Real Madrid, on the other hand, have seen their local rivals surge towards the top and challenge them in Europe as well. However, Los Blancos have also taken it up a notch, with this being the third UEFA Champions League final in four years.

The Blancos were unbeaten in the tournament until the 2-1 loss at Vicente Calderon in the second leg of the semifinal. They 12 matches have 8 wins and 12 draws. They have lifted the trophy in each of their last five appearances in the final. This will be their 15th final, having won the title a record 11 times while losing out in 3.

There have been many clubs that have won consecutive European Cups, but no side has yet to win two straight Champions League titles since its inception in 1992/93.

Real Madrid could be the first team to ever do that in Wales. And Zinedine Zidane can become the first coach to win the Champions League title twice, in his first two years with a club.

TEAM NEWS:

Juventus  - Max Allegri will be unable to use center back Daniele Rugani or left winger Marko Pjaca due to injuries.  Allegri is very likely to go with three at the back, as it allows him to get all of his experienced defenders onto the pitch at the same time.  It's also going to allow Dani Alves to play in that marauding wing back role that is going to cause Madrid issues from time to time.  That system might just be what brings 'old big ears' back to Turin with them.   

Real Madrid -  Zinedine Zidane looks like he will be without center back Pepe still for this match.  Winger Gareth Bale and right back Dani Carvajal have returned to training, so they are likely to find themselves available once again.  It's going to be a controversial call, but Zidane will surely have little choice but to play Bale over Isco in this final if he's fully healthy.  It's in Wales, after all, and there is a pressure to market the game in the modern era.  It's just how things are, and Isco looks like he's likely to lose his place despite being named the player of the season by the Real fans. 


 TEAM FORMS:

Juventus - The Italian have four wins and a loss in their last five matches in all competitions.  They won 2-1 at home to Monaco in the semi-final second leg to confirm their progression to this final.  They then lost 3-1 away to Roma in Serie A before defeating Lazio 2-0 in the Coppa Italia Final.  A 3-0 home win over Crotone would follow that.  On the final weekend of the Serie A season, with the title already theirs, they won 1-2 at Bologna on Saturday.


Real Madrid - Real Madrid have four wins and a loss in their last five matches in all competitions.  A 0-4 away win at Granada in the league came before a 2-1 away loss at Atletico in the semi-final second leg that saw them progress.  They then won 4-1 at home to Sevilla before downing Celta Vigo 1-4 away.  On the final day, they wrapped up La Liga glory with a 0-2 win away to Malaga. 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS:

Juventus 3-4-3 football formation

Juventus (3-4-3): Buffon; Chiellini, Barzagli, Bonucci; Alves, Pjanic, Khedira, Alex Sandro; Dybala, Mandzukic, Higuain

Real Marid (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema

Real Madrid C.F. 4-3-3 football formation

 KEY STATS:
  • Gianluigi Buffon is yet to add a single Champions League to his glittering career and a triumph on Saturday could complete his trophy cabinet.
  • There has been at least 2 goals in each of the last six matches played between the two sides.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo looks ominous, with as many as eight goals in his last four Champions League fixtures this season. The Portuguese enigma also has a potent record against Juventus, with 5 goals and an assist in 4 appearances against the Italian giants in the elite competition.
  • Juventus have never trailed in the knockout phase of the present Champions League campaign while Real Madrid have conceded the lead in five matches out of six. Los Blancos, though, have scored in every Champions league match this season.
  • The present campaign has been the most productive Champions League campaign for Gonzalo Higuain, with 5 goals so far.
PREDICITON:

Juventus 2 – 2 Real Madrid - Without a doubt, this is a clash between the best defense and best offense. . While Real Madrid may be favourites going into the match, no side has been able to defend the Champions League crown and it might likely remain the same. Real Madrid will surely push on to etch their name in the history books. But Juve cannot be ruled out from this game at any point and we firmly believe there is a higher chance for this game to extend to the extra time and probably the penalties.

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