The 2016/17 UEFA Champions League final will be contested between Juventus and Real Madrid. The match will be played under the roof of the National Stadium of Wales, Cardiff on the 3rd June and is one of the most anticipated finals we have seen for many years.
Both Juventus and Real Madrid fully deserve their place in the Champions League final this season. They have been the two best teams, perhaps not throughout the group stages but certainly in the knockout rounds, where it really counts.
This final is a contrast of styles, with Juventus known for their strong defence and Real Madrid for their free-flowing attack.
Juventus vs. Real Madrid
Champions League – Saturday 3rd June 2017 – 7:45 am
Best Odd of: 2/1 at Ladbrokes
Best Odd of: 21/10 at Ladbrokes
Best Odd of: 17/10 at Ladbrokes
Juventus came through their group as winners, winning 4 and drawing 2 of their games. They had little trouble despatching Porto in the Round of 16, winning the away leg 2-0 before finishing the job off in the Juventus Stadium.
The quarter-final was always going to be a tough ask against Barcelona but Juventus delivered a terrific performance in the first leg at home, winning the match 3-0. The second leg in the Camp Nou was a masterclass in defending, as the Italian champions held their hosts to a 0-0 draw.
The semi-final paired Juventus with the attack-minded Monaco but having scored 2 goals without reply at the Stade Louis II, Max Allegri’s team had one foot in the final. A 2-1 win at home was enough to see Juventus ease through to the final.
Juventus also won Serie A for the sixth time in succession this season.
Real Madrid Form
Real Madrid did not have things all their own way in the group stages of the 2016/17 Champions League. Zinedine Zidane’s team finished in second place, behind Borussia Dortmund having won 3 and drawn 3 of their games.
This meant a Round of 16 tie with Napoli. Despite going a goal down in both legs of the tie, Real Madrid had too much for the Italians and came back to win both matches 3-1 and progress with a 6-2 aggregate victory.
The quarter-final saw a mouth-watering match-up with Bayern Munich. Having taken the away leg 2-1, it appeared Real Madrid had one foot in the semi-final. However, Bayern rallied in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu to take the tie into extra time. With a man advantage, Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to make the difference.
The semi-final saw a repeat of last season’s final as Real Madrid met local rivals Atletico Madrid. With the first leg at home, Zidane’s team took full advantage and won the match 3-0. Despite a scare in the second leg, which saw Real Madrid go 2-0 down early in the first half, an away goal by Isco settled the tie.
Like Juventus, Real Madrid won their domestic title this season, for the first time since 2012.
The only player unavailable to Max Allegri is the injured Marko Pjaca. The Juventus manager has the luxury of choosing whether to play three or four at the back and is likely to go with the former. This will see Dani Alves and Alex Sandro given license to roam forward and join the likes of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain in attacking situations.
Real Madrid have doubts over the fitness of Gareth Bale. Even if the Welshman is passed fit, he may have to settle for a place on the bench, with Isco in good form. It would be a surprise to see Daniel Carvajal make the starting XI following his injury, which means Danilo or Nacho will play at right-back.
Top Betting Tips
Given their recent record in the Champions League, Real Madrid come into this match as favourites with the bookmakers, priced at 7/4 with Ladbrokes. Juventus are available at the longer odds of 15/8.
There have been over 2.5 goals in all 12 of Real Madrid’s Champions League matches this season. If they are to win the final, this is likely to happen once more and you can get 5/4 with Ladbrokes for there to be over 2.5 goals and 19/5 with Ladbrokes for Real Madrid to win and over 2.5 goals.
Juventus have based their Champions League campaign on a strong defence. The Italians have kept 9 clean sheets in their 12 games this season and you can get 7/2 with Ladbrokes for Juventus to win the match to nil.
Juventus seem to be the more balanced team of the two and can defend well and score top quality goals. This combination should be enough to see them through this match and win by a single goal. Juventus to win by 1 goal is 10/3 with Ladbrokes.