Barcelona vs Juventus – European Champions League Final

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Spanish La Liga leaders Barcelona and reigning Italian Serie A champions and current leaders Juventus will square off in the 2015/16 European Champions League Final in at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany on Saturday, June 6. Barcelona reached the final after eliminating German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate in their semifinal showdown while Juventus ousted reigning European Champions Real Madrid of Spain 3-2 on aggregate.

Barcelona vs Juventus – European Champions League Final – bet365 currently lists Barcelona as the early favorites to win the match at 8/13 with Juventus 9/2 and a 90-minute draw at 3/1

Barcelona downed Munich 3-0 at home at the Cam Nou in the first leg and then dropped a 3-2 decision at the Allianz Arena in Germany. Juventus managed a 2-1 win over Madrid at home in Turin in their first-leg encounter and pulled off a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu in Madrid. The Final will match Barcelona’s powerful offense against Juventus’ stingy defense. Argentine international striker Lionel Messi, who is a four-time winner of the Ballon d’Or award as the world’s top soccer player, leads the Champions League in goals with 10 and also in assists with five. The 27-year old also has 40 Spanish league goals to his name this season.

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However, Barcelona also has plenty of secondary scoring from Uruguayan international striker Luis Suarez and Brazilian international forward Neymar. The trio of Messi, Neymar and Suarez have been responsible for 114 goals so far this year. Suarez was bought for 80 million pounds from Liverpool in the offseason and has chipped in with 24 goals along with 23 assists as Barcelona goes after their fifth Champions League crown. The club has won four out of their seven Final appearances up to now.

Juventus held Real Madrid to a pair of goals in their semifinal encounters and have allowed just seven goals against during this year’s Champions League tournament. The Italian club has had the best defensive record in the domestic Serie A for the past four seasons now as they’ve allowed 81 goals against in their last 149 league contests. They also have 81 clean sheets under their belt. However, since the Champions League Final is just a one-game affair, Juventus can’t afford to go out on the pitch and simply defend against Barcelona. They’ll also have to create some offense of their own or the Spanish giants will dominate them.

These two clubs have met each other eight times competitively in the past and the Italian side has fared quite well so far by winning four of the games while losing two and drawing the other pair. However, they’ve never faced this new version of Barcelona which features Messi up front alongside Neymar and Suarez. Keeping the ball out of their net is certainly going to be a tough task to accomplish and they also need to score at least one of their own. The match will go into 30 minutes of extra time if it’s tied after 90 minutes. If there’s no winner then it will be decided by a penalty shootout.

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