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UEFA Champions League Final - Barcelona v Manchester United

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It has been a highly anticipated game, and now it is only two night away. I am of course talking about the Champions League final. Europe's biggest competition has so far been a very fascinating one and now we are about to reach the climax. Barcelona v Manchester United, who will be victorious.

Manchester United have surprised me this season. At the beginning of the season I thought to myself, how are Man United going to challenge this year. They hadn't really strengthened much, looked very weak in midfield and early on in the season their talisman Wayne Rooney wanted out of Old Trafford. Needless to say my opinion was someway off the truth. They really have been incredible this season. Their defence is second to none, the midfield has performed admirably and the revelation of Javier 'Chicarito' Hernandez along with the class of Rooney has made them an unstoppable force in the Premier League. In the Champions league they have also overcome some tough challenges, most notably the victories over Chelsea in the quarter finals. After beating a mediocre Schalke side in the semi's, they now face Barcelona in the final. Can they win? Of all the teams in Europe, I think Manchester United have the best chance of winning. Van Der Sar, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra and whoever they decide to play on the right side of defence are the most capable of dealing with Barcelona's attacking threat. Meanwhile, with Rooney and Chicarito scoring goals for fun, they are in with a very good shot.

Barcelona on the other hand are shaky in defence. At right back Dani Alves is a very good attacking full back, but as far as defence goes he just isn't up to scratch to me. Pique and Puyol are a solid pair but only a fraction as good as Vidic and Ferdinand. Abidal, should he start, is only recovered from a serious illness and will be a slight liability. The attack, however, is a far different story. Not very tall, but what they lack in strength they make up for with pace and willingness to close down. Villa, Pedro and Iniesta all have the ability to produce something magic. Xavi keeps everything ticking in the centre of midfield. I don't really need to explain the threat posed by Lionel Messi, its nearly as obvious as Dani Alves' dives.

It's going to be an interesting game. Barcelona are favourites to win but Man United are definitely worth a punt at a good price. In my opinion, it can either go two ways. One, Manchester United work their socks off in midfield and somehow manage to stop Messi in his tracks. Two, Barcelona dominate possession and end up walking all over their opposition. Who knows?

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