UEFA Champions League Betting Tips and Final Preview: Real Madrid v Juventus – 3 June, 2017 – 20:00 hrs
Two of the biggest power-houses of European football will fight it out for the crown of continental Champions at Cardiff on June 3. While title holders and 11-time winners Real Madrid had a few few hiccups on their way to the final. they came off 2nd to Borussia Dortmund in the Group stages and three draws to boot. Juventus emerged clear toppers in their group and their progress through the knock-out stages was emphatic.
Both teams managed to secure top slots in their respective national leagues, the La Liga and Serie A. Juventus achieving a local double by lifting the Coppa Italia, too. While Los Blancos' appetite for goals has been relentless, Juve have been the paragons of defensive masterclass. The manner in which they shut out a prolific Barcelona for 180 minutes in the Round of 8 was a lesson in ultimate defence itself.
There's little doubt that this will be the hardest side for Zinedine Zidane's men to get a goal against this season. The likes of Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale will be tested to the limits by the world's most formidable back-line.
For Real , there could be minor changes upfront with Isco probably featuring in the starting XI in place of Gareth Bale. This given the diminutive Spaniard's impressive form in recent games. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are also expected to recover from the injuries incurred in Real's last La Liga clash against Malaga. Striker Alvaro Morata could also make a brief appearance against his former club. So, it will be a Real Madrid side in full strength going guns-blazing at their Italian rivals at Cardiff.
Sergio Ramos, Dani Alves and Marcelo will have their work cut out at the Real Madrid back-line. However their immense attacking qualities (rarely seen among full-backs) is a great bonus for the side's overall strength. That's what makes Los Blancos a champion side.
The Italian giants have got the better of Real on 5 out of the 10 occasions that these two have met since 2002. Juventus had knocked out their rivals from Madrid in the 2015 on a aggregate of 3-2 in the semifinals only to lose out to Barcelona in the finals.
Popular betting odds point to a 1-1 scoreline at the end of playing time with Real Madrid winning on penalties. For Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon, Juventus's icon-cum-talisman-cum-mascot, the Cardiff finals could be one of his last shots at ultimate club glory.