It is festival time in Cardiff on Saturday night as the Welsh city host the 2016/17 edition of the UEFA Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid.
Juventus will be eyeing to become the first team to win the title on a unbeaten note since Manchester United did the same in 2007/08. Massimiliano Allegri’s team won 9 and drew 3 of their 12 matches in the competition this term. Also, they kept 9 clean sheets in the process making them the best defensive unit in the competition. If they lift the trophy, they become the seventh team to do so.
There are also other records at stake as the Old Lady have already won the Serie A and Italian Cup. A win in Cardiff will make them the ninth team to win a treble. FC Barcelona had done this twice in the last 9 years, with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan being the only other two teams to win the treble in the last decade.
Real Madrid have a bigger price to play for, as they will be the first team to have defended the Champions Trophy in modern era. The Blancos were unbeaten in the tournament until the 2-1 loss at Vicente Calderon in the second leg of the semifinal. They 12 matches have 8 wins and 12 draws.
Zinedine Zidane can become the first coach to win the Champions League title, in his first two years with a club.
The Los Blancos have lifted the trophy in each of their last five appearances in the final. This will be their 15th final, having won the title a record 11 times while losing out in 3.
Juventus will be making their 9th appearance in the competitions final. They won twice and lost on 6 occasions, more than any other team. Bayern Munich and Benfica are the team that lost in five finals. Also, the Old Lady had lost in each of their last four final appearances.
Juventus vs Real Madrid: Head-to-head
This is the 19th meeting between the two clubs and there is little to separate as they share 8 wins and 2 draws each. However, Juventus are unbeaten in the latest three with a pair of wins and draw. Also, both teams have scored in 8 of their last 10 meetings.
Madrid won 1-0 in their lone meeting in a Champions League final. Predrag Mijatovic was the scorer in the 66th minute of the game at Amsterdam in 1998.
Juventus vs Real Madrid: Prediction
Without a doubt, this is a clash between the best defense and best offense. Juve have already shown what they are capable of by shutting out the free scoring Barcelona at Camp Nou. But one must be vary of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored in all of his four previous meetings against the Italians. It will be hard for the Old Lady to keep things in control over the 90 minutes of play.
This will bring us to our first tip, which is both teams to score. It could be a banker after 8 of the last 10 meetings between the two saw the same.
Bookies made Real Madrid slight favourites to win this one and we are also going by the same opinion. But Juve cannot be ruled out from this game at any point and we firmly believe there is a higher chance for this game to extend to the extra time and probably the penalties.