For the first time in Champions League history, both teams heading into the final are on course to win a league, domestic cup and Champions League treble with both The Old Lady and the Blaugrana cruising to victory in the Serie A & Coppa Italia and La Liga & Copa del Rey respectively. Both managers will be desperate to secure the biggest trophy in club football and prove their detractors wrong, with Massimiliano Allegri having been spurned by AC Milan in the past and Luis Enrique facing heavy criticism from Barca’s fans and the media this season.
Barca go into the match heavy favourites, and with good reason. Arguably one of the most prolific attacking trios in history will be bearing down on Juve; and Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez may just prove too much for the Turin outfit to handle. Barcelona are 8/13 (1.61) to win in regular time and 1/3 (1.33) to lift the trophy by any means necessary at bet365. The bianconeri on the other hand are 5/1 (6.00) to triumph in 90 minutes, and 12/5 (3.40) to take the trophy home with them.
bet365 are offering the ever-popular ‘Method of Victory’ market on the match and it has seen plenty of speculative backing from punters who believe the match will go the distance. Barcelona are 10/1 (11.00) to win in extra time and 14/1 (15.00) to secure a last gasp win through penalties. Juventus are also 14/1 (15.00) to secure victory through spot kicks, whilst they are 22/1 (23.00) to kill off the game in extra time.
Amidst the excitement for the game, players from both camps are making the headlines as the annual transfer speculation reaches fever pitch. 22 year old French wonder kid Paul Pogba is alleged to be on the verge of a move to Barcelona for a reported £70m and the Manchester United reject is undoubtedly one of the hottest properties in world football right now with Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid reportedly also interested in the midfielder. Pogba has a flair for the dramatic and has scored some spectacular goals this season, with no midfielder in Europe scoring more goals from outside the box than him. The young Frenchman is 16/1 (17.00) to score first, and 11/2 (6.50) to find the net anytime.
Barcelona legend Xavi will play his last ever match for Barcelona on Saturday and finishes his distinguished career as the most decorated player in Spanish football history regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game thanks to the Catalonian giant’s triumphs in La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Regardless, the Spaniard will be desperate to end his career on a high and cement his place in perhaps the greatest team club football has ever seen. Arguably one of La Masia’s greatest successes, Xavi has been with the club since 11 and in the last quarter of a century has been a key figure in both Barcelona’s and Spain’s successes. The midfielder has been bidding an emotional farewell to the club in recent weeks and was yesterday brought to tears by a tribute from fellow midfielder Andres Iniesta, another player who will likely be considered one of the greatest in Spain’s history.
The majority of money in the goalscorer markets will of course be focused on Messi, Neymar and Suarez, the latter of which has been making the headlines as he prepares to face Patrice Evra, who he was alleged to have racially abused whilst playing at Liverpool, and Giorgio Chiellini, who he famously bit at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Uruguayan powerhouse and talismanic Brazilian Neymar are both 5/1 (6.00) to score first and 8/5 (2.60) to score anytime.
Messi is 3/1 (4.00) to score first at bet365 and looks a great bet. Gigi Buffon said in an interview this week that the Argentine is ‘an alien that dedicates himself to playing with humans’ and the four-time Ballon d’Or winner is in the form of his life again in the wake of a disappointing 2013-14 campaign. A fourth Champions League trophy would surely propel Leo to become the world player of the year for the fifth time, and prise the title away from his fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
For even more odds and a fantastic selection of markets, be sure to look for this fixture on bet365.com under Soccer > UEFA Champions League.