Clash of the Titans: Will Juventus or Real Madrid claim the European Crown?

Pic Attribution By Little Savage (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Pic Attribution By Little Savage (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Pic Attribution By Little Savage (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
The dust has not long settled on four thoroughly entertaining Champions League Semi-finals, but fans are already enthralled by the prospect of two European legends battling it out in the final.

Juventus and Real Madrid with square-off on Saturday June 3rd in Cardiff, with the eventual winner still very much in the balance.

Both sides dispatched their Semi-final opposition with ease, as Real Madrid cruised past city rivals Atletico Madrid despite losing the second leg of the tie, and Juventus bettered Monaco in both matches.

A slew of betting offers are expected around the final, but bookies will find it hard to call with current odds suggesting Real Madrid are pegged as the early favourites.

The ‘Old Lady’ of Italian football, Juventus are headed for their sixth title in a row and remain thoroughly dominant in Serie A.

Real Madrid face a far tougher La Liga run-in, with Barcelona pushing them all the way to the line – buoyed by a famous 2-3 victory at the Santiago Bernabéu in April.

Whatever the result of both sides’ domestic endeavours, the final looks set to be classic encounter between strong defensive and attacking sides.

Juventus have conceded just three goals in the Champions League this season, an astonishing record  especially considering Real have conceded 16 en route to the final.

At the other end of the pitch Real have been dominant this season, topping the Champions League scoring charts with 32 goals (Juventus have only scored 21) and counting second-highest scorer in the tournament, Cristiano Ronaldo, within their ranks.

His incredible hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Semi-final saw records tumble and proved that he is fearsome competitor on the European stage.

On that night Ronaldo broke and astonishing five records, including becoming the first player to claim the match ball in successive Champions League games.

But Ronaldo is only one player in a well-oiled Real Madrid team that seems to be hitting its stride at the right time, with many pundits also praising the influence of Spanish midfielder Isco across the two ties.

So how do Juventus stop them? Well, as has been illustrated by how few goals they’ve conceded during their European campaign they have an exceptional defence.

Wily central defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, as well as highly-rated young defender Andrea Barzagli have the measure of most attacks. While full-back Dani Alves remains a hugely capable player in defence and attack.

Scoring will be vital to success though, and the shrewd investment in Gonzalo Higuain last summer has paid off, with the Argentinian finding the net 32 times this season.

His compatriot Paulo Dybala has also scored 17 times this season, and the duo will carry Juventus’ main goal threat.

So can Juventus break with recent bad luck and claim the Champions Leaugue for the first time 21 years, or will Real Madrid break more records by claiming back-to-back titles?

Whether defence or offence prevail in Cardiff next month, we’re certain to see a final between two sides at the top of their respective games.


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