Berlin Bows to Europe’s Football Fever

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Berlin: On one hand, they will be playing the Champions League for the fourth time and on the other hand, the other side will play in the UEFA champions League after 12 years One could argue that the entirety of Barcelona’s season has been building up to this day – to this point and to this match. Like Allegri and Juventus, this trophy and in turn this match could represent vindication for Luis Enrique. He too has had his critics this season and like his Italian counterpart, he has risen above it, stayed true to himself and reaped the rewards.

Juventus, one of the main benefits of UEFA’s recent overhaul of the suspension rules is that clubs who reach the final typically can contend that final with their best players; indeed Juve do not have anyone missing through suspension, but they are missing Giorgio Chiellini to injury. It’s obvious that Chiellini is an important player for their side – heck, he’s an Italian international and would be a bona fide starter at any club in the world – but there is also a sense that maybe his absence won’t be a death sentence for Allegri and his team.

LAST MEETING

FC Barcelona 1-2 Juventus FC – 22nd April 2003 – UEFA Champions League

Juventus’ eventual march to the final started with a quarter-final clash against FC Barcelona, and the Italians emerged victorious in extra-time courtesy of a late winner from Uruguayan forward, Marcelo Zayaleta. Xavi and Pavel Nedved got the other goals on the night, for anyone interested.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Barcelona (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar

Juventus (4-1-3-2): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Barzagli, Evra; Pirlo; Pogba, Vidal, Marchisio; Tevez, Morata

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