Football

Barcelona will win the Champions League this season

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The story of Juventus' Champions League campaign is something mainly of fortune. They've had a pretty simple ride up until the semi-finals. A group containing Atletico Madrid, Olympiacos and Malmo is hardly going to strike fear into teams, let alone the 'Old Lady'.

A last 16 tie against a bottom half of the table Dortmund team is hardly worrying either. In the quarter finals, Monaco showed how out of their depth they were against the Italian champions, in arguably the most boring quarter final tie ever.

Finally in the semi-finals, Juve had their biggest test against Real Madrid. Like many, I was hoping for an El Clasico final, but now I'll have to settle for a game in which Juve will just defend and hope for a lucky goal.

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So how are Juventus going to stop Barcelona? They're not.

And this is why...

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1. MSN

Shall we just finish the article here?

For me, this is the main factor as to why Juventus will finish runners-up. We saw what was considered the best team in world football last year get ripped apart from Messi, Suarez and Neymar.

In the semi-finals, Barcelona's attack looked unstoppable. They have a great amount of pace that is going to leave the ageing defenders of Juventus stunned.

The Barcelona trio have a total of 25 Champions League goals, nine more than the entire Juventus squad.

2. Midfield

Out of the entire Juventus squad, only Paul Pogba would have a shout of getting into the Barcelona side. Pirlo is arguably past his best, and other options like Marchisio and Vidal are still not at the same quality of Barcelona's options.

The two legends of Xavi and Iniesta are still world class players. Like Pirlo they're fading, but the Barca duo still have plenty to offer the Catalan midfield.

The player I've been most impressed with in the Barcelona midfield is Ivan Rakitic. He has pulled the strings for Barcelona in all competitions, and I don't think Pogba or Vidal will be able to quell the threat of the talismanic Croatian.

3. Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Barcelona goal-keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, despite conceding three goals against Bayern Munich, was the star of the show in the second leg of Barcelona's semi-final.

Most notably, a world class save to stop Robert Lewandowski was a great way to announce himself as one of the worlds best keepers. The former Borussia Monchengladbach stopper has been an ever-present in Barcelona's Champions League campaign.

Ter Stegen has conceded twice as many goals as Gianluigi Buffon, but having come up against Bayern, PSG and Manchester City in the knockout rounds, you can hardly be surprised.

4. Possession

For the last two Champions League finals, the team with the most possession has won the competition. Last season, Real Madrid had 20 percent more possession that their city rivals, and eventually ran away with a 4-1 victory.

The game at Wembley between Dortmund and Bayern Munich was similarly one sided, although the scoreline didn't prove it. Bayern's 58 percent possession was enough to help them to a 2-1 win over their Bundesliga rivals.

I expect Barca too have the majority of the ball this year, although as we saw in the second leg of both semi-finals, the Catalan and Turin teams can both set up in a very counter-attacking way.

5. It's Barcelona

In recent years Barcelona have dominated world football. It doesn't seem to matter if it's Ronaldinho or Messi, they just seem to always be at the top of their game.

Juventus on the other hand, despite dominating in Italy, have not been a constant European threat. Their last European success came in 1996 against Ajax, and being just a few months old at the time, I can't say I remember it that well.

Barcelona are favourites going into this game, and despite the obvious threat of Carlos Tevez, I can't see how a Juventus defence [Including Buffon] that averages at almost 32-years of age can contain Messi, Suarez and Neymar.

It is going to be an amazing tie, and the world will be watching on June 6 as the two best side's in Europe battle it out at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Champions League Predictions? Will Barca or Juve get crowned European Champions? Do the Old Lady stand a chance? Let us know in the comments!

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Topics:
Football
Paul Pogba
Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League
Andres Iniesta
Luis Suarez
Gerard Pique
Carlos Tevez
Neymar
Luis Enrique
Barcelona

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