The most eagerly awaited clash of the 2016-17 football season is less than a few hours away — The UEFA Champions League Final.
This colossal matchup between Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid CF and Italian giants Juventus splits allegiances firmly down the middle. With both sides in great form heading into the final, the outcome of this match could go either way.
We asked our Follow Your Sport team to give their predictions ahead of the much-anticipated clash between these two great rivals at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Juventus 3-1 Real Madrid – Sabari
Juventus lost the final in 2015 against a Spanish side by the same scoreline. But this time, there is a strong feeling that this could be their year. Los Blancos have always come out of the blocks quickly and looked to unsettle the opposition. It worked against Bayern but as the game went on, it was the Bavarians who looked set to win the match. Juventus have proved that they can with stand pressure for 90 minutes (and more if required) and are capable of delivering counter punches with ease. The Old Lady could very well be singing a happy song at the end of the night.
Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus – Ved Prakash
The Los Blancos look like the best team in the world right now. With Kroos in midfield and Ronaldo upfront, they are the squad who possess the ability to unlock the most resilient of defensive lines. Cristiano Ronaldo has found his lost form at the most appropriate time. Look at his stats in the knockout stages of the competition, and you wouldn’t be surprised if he finds the back of the net tomorrow. In fact, I back the Portuguese Hitman to score both the goals.
Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid – Gaurav
On the basis of consistency over the course of the competition, no one simply deserves the title more than Juventus. The fact that the Bianconeri are well-rounded in every aspect was there to see in last two rounds when they kept Europe’s two most prolific attacking sides in Barcelona and Monaco at arm’s length. They come into the final on the back of boasting an unbeaten record in the competition this season and with two trophies already in their bag. Real Madrid’s might upfront surely pose a resolute Juventus backline some serious threat but based on what we have seen from the Turin outfit, this could finally be the year when they claim an elusive treble. I predict a narrow 2-1 win for Juventus.
Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus – Tanmay
I sincerely believe that Real Madrid would be adding a 12th UCL trophy to their cabinet tonight. Real Madrid have been one of the most consistent teams in this entire season, and their main man, Cristiano Ronaldo has just found his form in the past few matches. Though the Blancos are going up against the best defence in Europe, we cannot forget that the squad is seeing the return of the Welsh Dragon Gareth Bale on his home patch. The men in white have scored in every single match in this season and that is another reason why they might come out on top. Furthermore, with the exception of Fabio Coentrao, every single Real Madrid has found the back of the net this season. In the end, it is going to be a delightfully exciting clash between Allegri and Zizou, with the latter hoping to become the first manager to win consecutive UCL titles.
Juventus 0-1 Real Madrid (AET) – Jaidev
A game of epic proportions, this has got the potential to be one of the tightest finals in the Champions League history. Juventus have the best defence in Europe, while Madrid have the best forwards (both BBC coincidentally). But most importantly, I think the midfielders possess equal caliber and the middle of the park is where the battle would be won. The teams will cancel each other out until full-time. But experience and stamina would be the real winners here and Madrid will nick a crucial goal in extra time and go on to win a consecutive UCL trophy.
Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid – Kishin
Juventus will look to provide Buffon the dream farewell by helping him lift his maiden Champion League. Juventus are a complete team: they have strength in all the departments and will cause Real Madrid severe problems in both attacking as well as defence.
Juventus’ forte lies in defence and the likes of Ronaldo and Benzema are definitely going to have a tough time getting past the back line, especially with the wing-backs that provide the much-needed support, to hold up the attacking line with a known devil for Real Madrid to tackle in the likes of Dani Alves
Los Blancos will step up their game for the final and do what they’re best at by winning the Champions League for potentially the 12th time, however, due to the adrenaline and the belief within the Juventus camp, I believe Real Madrid will be conquered this time and will leave Cardiff defeated — as runners-up.
Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus – Athul
Although Juventus have only conceded twice this season, Real are in good goal scoring form. Ronaldo, having scored 8 goals in his last four champions league matches is in form to break Juve’s defense. Asensio has been playing well in his role and I think Madrid’s squad has more depth than Juventus. Chiellini and Bonucci will have a tough time handling Ronaldo and Benzema.
Real Madrid 2 -1 Juventus – Manan
I think Real Madrid will win the Champions League because of the sheer number of game-changers in their team. They have developed a mentality to win every game over the last year and this will help them overcome any setbacks that they face during the match.
Real Madrid 3-1 Juventus – Pranay
I think Real Madrid will win the Champions League and become the first team to win successive titles. There is not much difference in quality between the first XI’s of both teams but Real Madrid have much more quality to call upon from the bench when needed as compared to Juventus. Zidane also works very meticulously on tactics and they must have worked out loopholes in the Juventus defence. Winning 11 European titles counts for something. Winning the UEFA Champions League is in Real Madrid’s DNA.
Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid (After ET) – Shahan
There’s absolutely no doubt that Madrid head into the final as the favourites. But if you want to count on one team that could stop the Los Blancos and their attacking brigade, then it is Juventus. A powerful yet efficient defence with a solid set-up topped with a blistering counter-attacking ability which could prove decisive and hurt Real Madrid. Juventus will have learned a lot from their defeat to Barcelona 2 years ago and this could finally be the year for Buffon & co.
Juventus 1-0 Real Madrid – Avichal
Juventus have shown the world this season how a good defence can nullify any attack and make the other team pay on the counter. They did so brilliantly against Barcelona and Monaco although Real have a better balance of attack and defence than the former two teams. The trio of Chiellini, Bonucci and Barzagli must keep Ronaldo quiet, so seems to be scoring for fun in the Champions League. No team has defended the UCL successfully and I don’t expect that to change on Sunday.