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Champions League Final: Juventus vs Barcelona

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Tonight, the Olympiastadion in Berlin will host the 2015 Champions League Final between Juventus and Barcelona.

Both sides have had a tremendous season, and are both looking to record an unprecedented treble. Juventus, looking to win their first Champions League since 1996, comfortably won Serie A, followed by victory in the Copa Italia, whilst Barcelona pipped rivals Real Madrid to the La Liga title, before winning the Copa Del Rey soon after.

Two times champions Juventus are looking to put three successive final defeats behind them tonight. Having just made it through the group stages, which included two defeats, Juve have picked up their form as the competition has progressed. A comfortable 5-1 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 was followed by victory over Monaco. Juve then won 3-2 over the two legs against last season’s Champions League winners Real Madrid.

Barcelona had topped their group with five wins and one defeat. That defeat came against PSG, but the Catalan club would get their own back in the quarter-finals. Having overcome reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in the last 16, Barcelona then coasted past Ligue 1 champions PSG. They were then faced with the German champions, Bayern Munich, in the semi-finals, which again the Spanish club dealt with.

Juventus haven’t won the competition since 1996, losing in their last three final appearances, whilst Barcelona, who are looking for their fifth Champions League title, have won their last three finals.

A lot rides on the game for both sides and sets of players. A goal for Lionel Messi would give him the lead in the all time Champions League top goalscorers, whilst Barcelona also boast, for the first time in the competitions history, two players in the same team in Messi and Neymar that have scored more than nine goals.

In eight European meetings between the sides, Juventus have won four and drawn two, but in the seven final meetings between Italian and Spanish opposition, the latter have won five. Also, if Patrice Era features for Juve, he’ll become just the second ever player to feature in a European final for three teams; Monaco, Manchester United and Juventus.

Juventus head coach Allegri has built his squad on a strong defence and resilient midfield. With Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo in the middle of the park, the Italian club are capable of dictating the play, and assisting top goalscorer Carlos Tevez. Barcelona will probably have the majority of the possession, and with a front three of Messi, Neymar and the returning Suarez, they too are capable of finding the net. Suarez was due to face up against Juve defender Georgio Chiellini for the first time since the Uruguayan’s bite in the 2014 World Cup, but the Italian defender is out with a calf injury. Andres Iniesta is 50/50 following his calf injury, whilst fellow midfielder Xavi will make his final Barcelona appearance before he moves to Qatar in the summer.

Barcelona Berlin Champions League Final Juventus

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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