Champions League Final Preview




Champions League

Champions League

The biggest match in all of European club football looms around the corner. A rematch of the 2009 Champs League final awaits us. Manchester United and Barcelona face-off at Wembley on May 28th. The stadium bears much significance for both teams. Both teams conquered Europe for the first time at this very stadium (United in 1968 and Barcelona in 1992).

Not much has changed in the two years. Barcelona and United were domestic champions then and are so even this year. The teams also remain more or less same, with Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o absent for Barcelona. The then reigning World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez played their last match in the final of 2009 for United.

A win for United will mean that Sir Alex Ferguson joins Bob Paisley as the only manager to win the Champions League thrice.

Recent years have seen both teams perform very consistently in the premier European competition. Barcelona have reached at least the semi-finals since the 07 – 08 season (reaching the final in 09). While United have reached the final a record 3 times in the last four years.

Though both teams have won the domestic championship, only Barcelona arguably has been convincing. Though Real Madrid led the table initially, Barcelona looked like champion material since they thrashed their arch rivals 5 – 0 at the Camp Nou. United were took the first spot when the Chelsea slump began. Arsenal had numerous chances to lead the table, but squandered the chances. The best team won the La Liga, but the same can’t be said about the Premier League.

Barcelona appear stronger than they were in 09, Messi has grown and become mature. Xavi and Iniesta continue to bamboozle the opposition with their command over passing and control of the play. The defence crisis has been solved by the return of Eric Abidal and captain Puyol also looks certain to play, after recovering from injury. Pedro, who was a benchwarmer in 09, has developed since then and is now a regular in the team. His linking up with Villa and Messi has resulted in some very devastating results for the opposition.

United, having lost their star man CR7 in 2009, have also more or less managed to retain stability in the team. Antonio Valencia, who was absent most of the season, is back for the team. The Roonatic has also found form recently, and this is vital for United. Nani has been quite impressive, linking well with Evra. The ageless Giggs has also been a very integral part of the team this year. Wonder signing Javier Hernandez has been the surprise package, but it is doubtful if he will start at Wembley. Though United have found their feet this season, it can’t be said that they are as good as or better than they were two years ago.

Men to watch

Barcelona: all the attacking and midfield players. Though the focus will be on Messi, Iniesta and Xavi play an even more important role.

Manchester United: Giggs and Hernandez (if he plays any part).

Key Battles

Carles Puyol vs. the Roonatic

Dani Alves vs. Nani

Messi vs. the Man United defence

Iniesta + Xavi vs. Fletcher/ Carrick/ Scholes/ Park

In 2005 and 2007, Liverpool and A.C Milan squared off in the Champions League finals, while Liverpool emerged victorious in the first battle; Milan bagged their revenge in the second. It remains to be seen if Manchester United can achieve this feat as well.

Kick off time – 00.15 IST, 29th May (12.15 AM IST, 29th May).

Broadcast live on – Ten Action+ and Ten Sports.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Author:

Cricket

ICC Champions Trophy Final 2017: India vs Pakistan – Live Cricket Score

ICC Champions Trophy Final 2017: India vs Pakistan – Live Cricket Score

Posted by: Atish Home Chowdhury on June 17th, 2017

The two cricket giants of Asia; India and Pakistan will lock horns against each other at the epic ICC Champions Trophy finale match at the Oval on Sunday. India ..

Football

4 Minervans and 3 city boys in India Senior Football Team

4 Minervans and 3 city boys in India Senior Football Team

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on August 7th, 2017

After the recent good show of Minerva boys in the AFC Cup U-23 Qualifiers in Qatar, 4 Minervans namely, Germanpreet Singh, Manvir Singh, Davinder Singh and Anir ..

Tennis

Rafael Nadal vs Stan Wawrinka: French Open Men’s Final 2017 – Preview

Rafael Nadal vs Stan Wawrinka: French Open Men’s Final 2017 – Preview

Posted by: Atish Home Chowdhury on June 11th, 2017

The stage is set for the mouth-watering and nail-biting clash of the two Tennis stalwarts of the current era; Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka. This will be the u ..

F1

Life Lessons learned from Sports & Fitness #TOSBDay

Life Lessons learned from Sports & Fitness #TOSBDay

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on September 26th, 2016

Held on Sept 1st, The Outstanding Speakers’ Bureau (TOSB) Twinterview consisted of sports panelists such as Mark Gallagher (Public Speaker on F1 race), Shayam ..

Boxing

Boxing Federation of India successfully concludes AIBA Course and Examination

Boxing Federation of India successfully concludes AIBA Course and Examination

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on February 24th, 2017

Rohtak, February 24, 2016: In continuation to produce the AIBA certified Coaches, Referees and Judges; Boxing Federation of India successfully organised the AIB ..

Other Sports

Indian athletes begin impressively at 22nd Asian Athletics Championships

Indian athletes begin impressively at 22nd Asian Athletics Championships

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on July 6th, 2017

Indian interests on the opening day of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships were high with national record holder Muhammed Anas easing into the semi-finals of ..

One stop guide to all the latest sports news, reviews, opinions, fixtures and live scores from India and around the world.

Copyright © 2017 | The Sports Mirror