UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PREVIEW

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As the world gets ready for the UEFA champions league final this weekend. We take a look at the two finalists, Barcelona and Juventus. Both teams are on course to complete a treble after triumph in both domestic leagues and copa Del Rey and coppa Italia respectively.
Juventus goes into this game as underdogs after beating champions Real Madrid to book a place at this year’s final. Juventus has a history full of passion and scandals, from a journey of match fixing scandals to relegation and subsequently Serie A dominance. 12 years on, Juventus is back in the UEFA champion’s league final. But the Biaconeris’ final stats is far from impressive; 2 triumphs and 5 defeats is nothing to smile about. However this time they seek to make it all count, one unique thing about this team is their cohesion, tenacity and team spirit. Time and time again they have shown mental fortitude and played with their hearts, this was evident in their semi-final clash against Real Madrid at Berbnabeu.They came back from a goal down to progress courtesy Alvaro Morata’s equalizer
 
Defense
The Biaconeris have a solid defensive setup full of experience. The likes of Chiellini, Bonucci and Evra have all its take to halt the attacking prowess of Barcelona. The veteran defenders have to bring their experience to bare. Gianluigi Buffon would love to cap off an illustrious career with a Champions league medal, the veteran would look to inspire his side to a third European glory
 
Midfield
The team’s strength lies in midfield. Europe’s most highly demanded Paul Pogba and Vidal will have to define the game and affirm their position as the best defensive midfield duo in Europe. Their ability to get physical and overshadow a highly talented Barcelona midfield will prove vital for their side. They must be able to break Barcelona’s rhythmic passing and tempo. Pirlo has a wealth of experience, the vision and accuracy to pull defensive splitting passes that can cause havoc.
Attack
The likes of Tevez, Moratta and Llorente would be seeking to exploit the defensive frailties of Barcelona. Tevez is in sensational form for his side and also has developed a formidable partnership with Morata providing creativity and goal scoring ability.
 
After the departure of Pep Guardiola, things looked gloomy for Barcelona. They struggled last season under Gerardo Martino with a myriad of problems arising. Lionel Messi’s tax evasion scandal, Neymar’s transfer pricing issues and the club being banned from making player transfers. The blaugranas have overcome all these problems and are seeking to win their fifth champions league trophy. Barcelona goes into this game as favorites with genius Messi leading the attack. This side has sparks of individual brilliance and can boast of the deadliest attacking trio in football.
Defence
This certainly the weakest part of the team, with Gerrard Pique at the heart of Barcelona’s defence there is always a mistake in sight.However Barcelona’s defensive record has improved under Luiz Enrique. Jordi Alba and Dani Alves have been splendid, then again Ter stergen has proved his quality throughout this champions league campaign. He has been a hero for his side and they would count on him to deliver in the final against the Old lady’s
 
Midfield
With an array of talented midfielders in the team, this side can boast of fine blend of  both young and old midfielders. Barcelona’s midfield has always been the spine of the team, the bedrock of the tiki taka philosophy. Iniesta and Xavi’s ability to creates spaces and give weighted passes to the attackers will be a crucial factor in their sides performance.
 
Attack
The deadliest attacking trio in football,  Messi-Neymar-Suarez have scored a combined 120 goals this season. Juventus’ defence will have a herculean task of trying to contain them. Messi who has already scored five goals in seven appearances against Italian cubs will be seeking to set a record as the first player to score in three UEFA champions league finals. The four time Ballon D’or winner is always at the heart of Barcelona success
 
Barcelona’s record against Italian clubs  P43 W22 D13 L8.
Juventus’ record against Spanish clubs P44 W15 D11 L18.

Posted by Kwabena Ameyaw

Creative Writer and Freelance Journo. Social Activist . Follow on twitter @Fhresh_matic

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