Slick Barca should eventually wear down Juve resistance
Gianluigi Buffon is the only survivor from Juventus’ last appearance in a Champions League Final 12 years ago but the veteran goalkeeper doesn’t believe that the occasion of this Saturday’s game against Barcelona will get to his team-mates.
Buffon’s experience will be vital in the Olympiastadion in Berlin as his side look to implement plans to cut off the supply line to Lionel Messi. No doubt Carlos Tevez will have given his colleagues the full rundown on his former Argentinian team-mate and coach Massimiliano Allegri will have formulated ideas on how to stop the Champions League’s top scorer.
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both had some success last year by reverting to a narrow 4-4-2 formation when Barcelona had possession and Allegri may have something similar in mind. That would mean Arturo Vidal or Claudio Marchisio moving to the right, as they did against Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid in the semi-finals, with Paul Pogba switching to the left-hand side.
We’ve been denied a first meeting of Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini since that infamous incident in last year’s World Cup. The rugged Italian has torn a calf muscle meaning an unlikely victory for his team against Barca will be even tougher.
Both teams are seeking the treble with Barcelona hoping to add to this season’s La Liga and Copa del Rey trophies. Juventus won Serie A again in a canter and beat Lazio in the final of the Copa Italia so shouldn’t be underestimated. They’ve improved in the Champions League as the season has progressed and can certainly give Luis Enrique’s team a run for their money.
But, let’s be honest, Barcelona operate on a higher plain than most other club sides in world football. Despite their reputation for defensive durability, Juventus have only managed to keep one clean sheet in their last 10 matches and, on top of Chiellini’s absence, another key man Andrea Barzagli is struggling to be fit for the final. Even if the Italians park the bus, the Spanish champions will make chances and are usually fairly clinical.
Barca have to be the call to win in 90 minutes at 8/15 and are 17/5 to win by a two-goal margin.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Saturday, June 6 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin