Juventus and Real Madrid, the two European giants, will face each other in the 2016/2017 Champions League final. The Bianconeri have been impressive in the knockout stages of the elite competition, but los Blancos proved their worth in the two-legged ties against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid respectively as well and a close encounter appears on the cards. In this Champions League preview we partnered up with Mario Di Poli, writer at FootballPredictions.com, to give some inside info on the final.
Juventus kicked off their Champions League campaign with a goalless draw against Sevilla. Juve failed to impress in their first group game, but the Italian giants did well to roll over Dinamo Zagreb at Stadion Maksimir in their first away match in the process. Thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Olympique Lyon the Bianconeri moved one step closer to booking their place in the knockout stages and Max Allegri’s troops continued with fine performances in Group H. Following a 1-1 draw with les Gones at Juventus Stadium, Juve recorded back-to-back wins over Sevilla and Dinamo Zagreb and, as a result, they set up a meeting with Porto in the Champions League last 16.
The Serie A champions recorded two routine wins over the Portuguese outfit, but many people expected that their next rivals Barcelona would pose a big threat for the Bianconeri. Nonetheless, Max Allegri’s team crushed Leo Messi and Co. in Turin, with Paulo Dybala scoring a brace for the Italians. Juve did well to defend their lead in the return leg and they totally deserved to make it to the semis of the elite competition. Gonzalo Higuian’s goals helped Juventus record a 2-0 win over Monaco at Stade Louis II, with the Bianconeri getting their job done in the second leg (2-1). Maz Allegri’s men are eyeing their first European Cup trophy since 1996, but they will have a big fish to fry in the clash against star-studded Real Madrid.
Real Madrid are on a quest to defend their Champions League trophy. The Spanish titans failed to impress in the opening match of their 2016/2017 Champions League campaign, but thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s late goal los Blancos eventually recorded a hard-fought 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon. After sharing the spoils with Borussia Dortmund at Signal-Iduna-Park, the reigning champions hammered Legia Warszawa (5-1) at their Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but the Polish club did well to hold Zinedine Zidane’s men to a 3-3 draw in the reverse fixture. Real Madrid then recorded a 2-1 win over Sporting in Lisbon and they needed a win over Borussia Dortmund in their last group game in order to clinch top position. However, the two teams played out a 2-2 draw in Madrid and, as a result, the La Liga side finished second.
The double-header against Bayern Munich in the last 16 was very entertaining. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in a 2-1 win over the mighty Bavarians at Allianz Arena and many football predictions suggested that Zinedine Zidane’s team would defend their lead in the return leg without any difficulties. However, Carlo Ancelotti’s charges showed character in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu clash and they sent the game into extra time. CR7 scored twice in the extra time, with Marco Asensio netting the fourth for the hosts and, as a result, Real Madrid set up a meeting with Atletico Madrid in the semis. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the first leg and it has to be noted that the Portuguese ace has already netted eight goals in the knockout stages of the elite competition. Los Blancos suffered a 2-1 loss to Atletico Madrid at Estadio Vicente Calderon, but that proved to be enough for Luka Modric and Co. to advance to their second consecutive Champions League final.
Real Madrid could become the first team in the history of the Champions League to defend the title, but considering that Juventus look unstoppable at the moment, I would not be surprised if the Italian side clinch their first trophy since 1996. To find more work of Mario and his team we highly recommend you to check https://footballpredictions.com/footballpredictions/championsleaguepredictions/ and get the hottest tips and predictions out there!