Madrid, June 5 (IANS) Spanish side FC Barcelona will be at full strength when they look to defeat Italian champions Juventus to win their fifth Champions League trophy in the final at Berlin.
Saturday’s game in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin promises to be a clash of the football Titans as the Spanish and Italian League and Cup double winners go head to head, reports Xinhua.
There is no doubt that a Barcelona side led by the free-scoring trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are the favourites, but nobody should forget that Juventus knocked Barcelona’s eternal rivals Real Madrid out in the semi-finals.
That has denied us the intriguing prospect of a Barcelona-Madrid final, but with former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata looking to give fans of his former club something to smile about, Barcelona would be well advised to take nothing for granted.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, who will partner Javier Mascherano at the back, warned that Juventus have quietly made their way to the final, where nobody expected them to and said that the attacking threat posed by Morata and Carlos Tevez could not be ignored.
Juventus will be without central defender Georgio Chiellini after he suffered a muscle injury that will deny fans the chance to see him face-off against Suarez after an ugly biting incident involving the two at the 2014 World Cup led to the Barcelona forward getting a four-month ban.
Barcelona meanwhile have no injury doubts and are looking for a repeat of the treble they won in 2009 under former coach Pep Guardiola. Indeed, current Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has said that the chance of a treble is what drives his side on and that ambition, rather than the Champions League alone which is their target.
With defenders Jordi Alba and Dani Alves and midfielders Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta, Barcelona will look to dominate the ball, attack and pressure their rivals into mistakes.
Barcelona will look to win and dedicate the trophy to departing veteran midfielder Xavi Hernandez. But Enrique has warned his team not to take things for granted.