The UEFA Champions League has reached the finals, but can Real Madrid triumph to retain their trophy or will Juventus continue to show its defensive dominance? Can Zidane’s ‘Galacticos 2.0’ do what no team has done since the European Cup was converted into the much-lauded Champions League format and retain their trophy? They’re are underdogs for the showcase, albeit ever so slightly.
Champions League Betting Lines
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UEFA Champions Winners Predictions
Last season saw Real Madrid achieve the improbable – an incredible 11th Champions League victory. The won on penalties against their cross-city rivals, Atletico, who they just ousted in the semifinals 4-2 on aggregate.
Cristiano Ronaldo and company showed once again how good they truly are when they defeated Atletico in the semi-finals. They walked all over Atletico 3-0 in their home leg, which was enough to eventually see them over the line. Ronaldo scored yet another hat trick in the first leg, proving why he’s currently the best player in the world. There’s a good argument to suggest he’s the best player of all time.
Ronaldo consistently puts Madrid on his shoulders on big occasions. He now has 88 Champions League goals in 87 games, the most of any player in the history of the illustrious competition. The world beater has 10 goals in the current competition and will look to add to his tally against his most difficult test to date.
There is no doubting Atletico’s defensive prowess, but Juventus is a different beast entirely. They are unarguably the best defensive unit in Europe, but Ronaldo has enjoyed success against Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon. Real’s superstar has scored in each of the four times he’s faced Buffon at club level.
Madrid are also trying to become the first ever team to retain their Champions League trophy. It would be a remarkable feat if they were able to win on June 3. It’s a classic battle of the competition’s best defense and offense.
Gareth Bale should be fit for the final, a massive boost for the defending champions.
Pick: Champions League Runners Up
Juventus have won the Champions League twice and have the dubious record of losing the most in the finals, six times to be exact. On the positive side, Juventus are still undefeated in the competiton. Manchester United, in 2007-08, were the last time to win the Champions League without losing a single game.
There are more storylines than one could conjure up. The Italian giants have lost four finals in a row and Buffon is vying for his first Champions League trophy. It’s pretty much the only trophy he doesn’t have in his cabinet at home. The Italian giants have already won the domestic double and will complete the treble with a win on June 3.
There is something special about this Juventus team. They have enough going forward, with Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala, to cause Madrid’s backline fits. And they are by far the best defense Madrid have faced all year. Buffon will do everything in his power to conquer his Champions League demons and that is Juventus’ X-Factor.
Take Juventus on the moneyline in a low-scoring contest. The more goals there are, the more chance of Madrid repeating as champions. If Ronaldo and Bale can be kept in check – a demanding task – Juventus will win for the first time in five Champions League finals.
Pick: Champions League winners