Ahead of Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final clash between Juventus and Barcelona in Berlin, respective members of the UAE supporters’ clubs share their predicted line-ups, results and share with us where to watch the match.
– VIDEO: Five things to know about the Champions League final
– Where to watch the UEFA Champions League final in the UAE
– Barcelona’s Mascherano warns of Tevez UCL final threat
– From Pogba to Messi: Combined Barcelona & Juventus XI
NAYEF KHATIB – Juventus Club Dubai
We started the season in an uncoventional way with previous coach Antonio Conte resigning just two months after the summer camp started. The replacement was Massimiliano Allegri, who many fans were apprehensive about due to his connections with AC Milan.
But Allegri worked quietly and let the results do the talking, getting many of the fans on his side when he guided the team to the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League, and now he has become a hero with a potential Treble-winning campaign.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 5, 2015
The last meeting against Barca in UEFA Champions League was 12 years ago, with the Bianconeri drawing at home and managing to qualify with a silver goal. It was the same year Juve beat Real Madrid in the semi-final before losing on penalties to Milan in the final. That was a very sad night and we would love to put behind us with a win on Saturday.
JUVENTUS PLAYER TO WATCH: Andrea Pirlo. It may be his last match with Juve and he has said he would love to end his journey with a Champions League winner’s medal. More rumours have surfaced now about his move to MLS so this is the perfect opportunity to cap off his remarkable career in Europe. He is a genius with the ball at his feet and remains an incredibly influential player for Juve.
BARCELONA PLAYER TO WATCH: Neymar. The team is full of stars but aside from the obvious Lionel Messi, Neymar will be dangerous. The Brazilian has so many tricks, while his famous dives could play a role in determinging the result should he draw a card from one of the Juventus defenders.
STARTING XI: Buffon, Lichsteiner, Barzaghli, Bonucci, Evra, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Pogba, Tevez, Morata.
PREDICTION: Juventus 2-1 Barcelona and an end to a near-20 year wait for to lift the famous trophy.
WHERE TO WATCH: We usually have a couple of places to visit for our football gatherings, Lounge Cafe Italiano is one of our favorites but the Juve fans also head to Lounge Wish, Maxine Cafe, Shoufi Mafi.
DANIEL ROCCA – FC Barcelona Fan Club UAE
This will be the 18th European final for Barcelona and the 13th for Juventus. Indeed we are two giants of European football. Yet in the previous 29 finals combined between them they have never met. This is an amazing statistic but after nearly seven decades of European competitions it is finally here – a Barcelona versus Juventus final.
Both teams have beaten great clubs like Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to get to the final. Both teams have won their respective domestic doubles and are looking to make it a treble. In Barcelona’s case they would be achieving it for a second time.
The Catalans will no doubt play the way they always do, all-out attack from the first minute through patient passing and moments of genius from their front three. Barcelona always need to score first to make their opponent open up, after often facing teams that defend deep. Juve will try to hold on for as long as they can and get lucky a on a break or take advantage of a set piece.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) June 1, 2015
After a first half of the season in which Barcelona coach, Luis Enrique, played a different first XI in every game , Barcelona line-ups since January have been predictable. The midfield has been really boosted by the arrival of Ivan Rakitic, whose energy has been valuable, while Andres Iniesta has shown glimpses of his best form – notably that great run against PSG. Another influential player has been Sergio Bsquets, an underrated player who hardly ever loses the ball. Then there is Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar – with 120 goals combined this season so far they have surpassed most entire club totals!
All eyes on them pic.twitter.com/EIGvCECWFl
— BarcaHD (@Barcelona_HD) June 5, 2015
Juventus also have a lot of talent in a midfield with Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Clauido Marchisio and Paul Pogba. The question will be how much time on the ball will they have? And how much will the defensive work that they have to put in? With the absence of their starting centre back, Chiellini, Juve have a serious problem to address. Although Barcelona are favourites in most, if not all, polls and surveys, Juventus’ professionalism and undoubted individual talent will make them compete and that will give them a good chance of upsetting the favourites.
BARCELONA PLAYER TO WATCH: Lionel Messi. Since January, Messi’s form has been simply extraterrestrial. Last week in the final of the Copa del Rey,he once again displayed his magic with an amazing goal, getting the ball in the midfield and dribbling past six Athletic Bilbao players to slot his shot in the near post. Allegri has already said that Messi is unmarkable so we will see what plans he has to stop the Argentinian.
JUVENTUS PLAYER TO WATCH: Carlos Tevez. For Juve the man to watch is another Argentinian, Tevez. He has been pivotal in their success with his amazing work-rate. His runs will give the Barca defence much to think about. While the all-round contribution of his team-mate Paul Pogba may be more valuable, Tevez has that special ability to turn a game in an instant.
— Goal (@goal_intl) June 5, 2015
PREDICTION: Juventus 1-3 Barcelona. Juve will score through Morata, the former Real Madrid man, but one goal apiece for Barca’s ‘M S N’ front three will bring the trophy home.
WHERE TO WATCH: The Barcelona Penya UAE will be getting together as usual at Seville’s restaurant in WAFI. Due to the heat the set up won’t be the usual outdoor terrace event but will be indoors with some outdoor area still available. We expect a good turn up.
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