Everything you need to know ahead of the Champions League Final


Barcelona and Juventus go head-to-head on Saturday night in the Champions League final, with the winners set to claim a historic treble.

The Spanish champions are hot favourites given their devastating form in the second half of the season, with Juventus a distant 5-1 to win the match over 90 minutes.

Yet Juventus will be anything but a pushover: this is a side that has won four Serie A titles in a row, and produced a consummate knockout football performance in outdoing Real Madridin the semi-final.

THE VENUE AND TIME
The match kicks off at 6.45pm GMT on Saturday 6th June. It will be played at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, venue for the 2006 World Cup final, and home ground of Hertha Berlin.

Barcelona and Juventus go head-to-head on Saturday night in the Champions League final, with the winners set to claim a historic treble.

The Spanish champions are hot favourites given their devastating form in the second half of the season, with Juventus a distant 5-1 to win the match over 90 minutes.

Yet Juventus will be anything but a pushover: this is a side that has won four Serie A titles in a row, and produced a consummate knockout football performance in outdoing Real Madrid in the semi-final.

TEAM NEWS
Barcelona look set to have Andres Iniesta available for Saturday’s Champions League final against Juventus with the midfielder having returned to training after a calf injury.

Iniesta, 31, missed his side’s workouts earlier this week after being injured during last weekend’s Copa del Rey final triumph over Athletic Bilbao, but rejoined the squad in training on Thursday.

That means Iniesta could yet line up alongside his long-time midfield colleague Xavi for the final time in Saturday’s final, which will be the last match in Barca colours for latter.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini is to miss the Champions League final with a calf muscle injury. The injury comes as a huge blow to Massimiliano Allegri’s side as they look to thwart Barca’s attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

The injury means Chiellini will be unable to line up against Suarez for what would have been the first time since the Uruguay international was banned for biting him at the World Cup finals in Brazil last year.

It was to be Chiellini’s first Champions League final and his place is expected to be taken by Andrea Barzagli, who returned to training on Wednesday following his own, recent injury knock.

PREDICTED XIs
MATCH FACTS
This will be the 60th final of the competition since it started as the European Champions Cup in the 1955-56 season and the first final in the competition’s history to be staged in Berlin.

The final was never held in the former East Germany but it has been staged in West Germany or the unified Germany seven times: in Stuttgart (1959 and 1988), Munich (1979, 1993, 1997 and 2012), and Gelsenkirchen (2004).

Italian clubs have won the European Cup a total of 12 times with AC Milan’s seven wins, Inter Milan’s three and Juve’s two.

Spanish clubs have lifted the trophy 14 times with Real Madrid winning it last year for a record 10th time and Barcelona winning it four times.

Barcelona’s first win was over the Italians from Sampdoria in 1992 and their three other wins in the last decade have been against English clubs, beating Arsenal in 2006 and Manchester United in both 2009 and 2011.

Both Juventus and Barcelona will complete the treble if they win on Saturday having both won the League and Cup doubles domestically.

They would join Celtic (1967), Ajax Amsterdam (1972), PSV Eindhoven (1988), Manchester United (1999), Inter Milan (2010) and Bayern Munich (2013) as treble winners.

Barcelona would become the first club to achieve the treble twice having first done it in 2009.

Both managers, Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus and Luis Enrique of Barcelona are looking to win the trophy in their first seasons in their current jobs.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who shares the all-time record with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo of 77 Champions League goals would become the first player to score in three Champions League finals if he finds the net on Saturday. He also scored in the 2009 and 2011 finals.

Andrea Pirlo could complete a rare double of playing for and against the same team in the final — and winning two winners medals. He was in the AC Milan team that beat Juventus on penalties at Old Trafford in 2003 and should be in Juve’s starting line-up on Saturday. He also won the title with AC Milan in 2007.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is the last survivor of that 2003 Juventus team still playing at the club. Eight Barca players who won the Cup in 2011 are still playing at the Nou Camp.

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