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Barca supporters are on a high after their team wrapped up won the La Liga title and King’s Cup last month with the club now on the verge of repeating their historic treble from 2009. One match away from winning their first ever treble after their domestic league and Cup double, Juventus face their biggest challenge this season when they take on the in-form Spaniards, who are chasing their second trio of titles after 2009.barca-Juve Barcelona will aim to upstage Juventus at Berlin
Barcelona look to evoke 2009 spirit
Barcelona are not getting caught up in the euphoria of their fans as they prepare for Saturday’s Champions League final against Juventus, coach Luis Enrique said on Friday.
Barca supporters are on a high after their team wrapped up won the La Liga title and King’s Cup last month with the club now on the verge of repeating their historic treble from 2009. The Catalan giants are favourites to triumph at the Olympic Stadium but Juve showed what they are capable of by dispatching Barca’s rivals and holders Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
“The fans are euphoric and we are delighted with that,” Luis Enrique told a news conference. “But as professionals we will approach the game with the utmost seriousness. We will need to have a good day to get past a rival of this magnitude,” added the former Barca and Spain midfielder.
Luis Enrique, who is in his first season in charge at the Nou Camp, said midfielder Andres Iniesta should be fit for Saturday’s match after an injury scare this week. Spain midfielder Iniesta will be expected to help unlock a stubborn defence, though Juve’s chances have been hit by an injury that has ruled out influential centre back Giorgio Chiellini.
“I want to have the ball more than them, occupy their half and play at a top level but we are sure to have some difficulties,” Luis Enrique said. “I don’t think it will be a clash of styles as they will want to have the ball too. They have resources and that’s why they are also in with a chance of a treble, he added.”
While Juventus aim for historic treble
Like Barcelona, Juve have already won the domestic league and Cup double this season. They will be appearing in their eighth European Cup final and are chasing a third triumph. Barca have also played in seven finals, winning four, and are bidding for their third triumph in seven years in Europe’s elite club competition.
Juventus did not expect to reach the Champions League final and despite being underdogs on Saturday against Barcelona the Italian champions are hopeful of causing an upset, captain Gianluigi Buffon and coach Massimiliano Allegri said.
One match away from winning their first ever treble after their domestic league and Cup double, Juventus face their biggest challenge this season when they take on the in-form Spaniards, who are chasing their second trio of titles after 2009.
“Probably we did not think that this year would be a good year or ideal year to reach the final,” goalkeeper Buffon told reporters on Friday. “We thought it would take two or three so it was an unexpected surprise, a nice surprise.
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“I think it would be fair to say objectively Barca are the favourites to win because they have great players with great skills,” Buffon said. “It’s only fair that a team with Messi, Suarez and Neymar are favourites,” said the former World Cup winner, chasing his first European crown at the age of 37.
Juve, who have lifted the European title twice, won three consecutive league titles under previous coach Antonio Conte but failed to have any major impact in Europe before Allegri took over this season. Allegri said Juventus had set out to reach the quarter-finals as the Turin outfit adapted to his 4-4-2 system from a more aggressive lineup under Conte.
“I tried to improve a team that was already at a high level. We started the season with an important objective that we wanted to get to the top eight and we now got to the final. So now we have to be first,” Allegri said. “How do we stop Messi, Suarez and Neymar, that’s the usual question. We have to be very skilled but we also need to accept that we just cannot draw. We need to score,” said the coach.
Barcelona’s South American trio have been sensational this season, netting 120 times between them in all competitions. “We need to attack their weaknesses. They have some like everyone. We need to think how to score and be technically skilled because Barca are also technically very strong.
Allegri will be without injured defender Giorgio Chiellini but said Andrea Barzagli was fit to play while Angelo Ogbonna was also an option for his backline. “We are sorry about Chiellini. We lost a player who accompanied us from the very beginning of a great season,” Allegri said. “But that is football. So tomorrow we need to take the final step however difficult it is,” he signed off.