It’s fair to say that the Champions League final has not produced the line-up that many expected. While plenty of pundits predicted that Barcelona would progress, very few expected Luis Enrique’s team to cruise past Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich team with such ease. In the other game, even fewer predicted that Juventus would prevail against reigning champions Real Madrid over the course of two legs, despite securing a lead in the first encounter.

Before the second leg had even kicked off at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday 13 May, all the talk was of an ‘El Clasico’ final. The whole scenario played perfectly into the hands of the Italians who are no strangers to facing adversity on the football field. The national team’s 1938 World Cup victory in France was played against a backdrop of extreme hostility and their 2006 triumph in the same competition lifted them from the shadows of the Calciopoli scandal.

It was that scandal 9 years ago that saw Juventus relegated to the second tier of Italian football – an event that opened a wound that has yet to be healed. On the 6 June, the Old Lady of Italian football will once again take her place at the elite level in what promises to be a mouth-watering showdown against the team from Catalonia. Whatever the result, it is fair to say that Juve have found their way back to where many feel they belong.

Luis Enrique has had the best 50-game start of any Coach in the history of Barcelona and is now on course for a trophy-laden first season with a league title, Copa del Rey and Champions League crown all within touching distance. This is a remarkable situation for a Coach that was said to be under pressure as recently as January. They will start the final as clear favourites and it’s hard to argue a case against them despite the quality of the Italians.

So, can Allegri’s men really pull off another shock and topple a team that currently seems unstoppable. The answer to that question could be found in the formations. The Juve Coach has already expressed the need to keep the triumvirate of Messi, Neymar and Suarez quiet but it is questionable if that is even possible given the flexibility and freedom with which they play. He may choose to opt for a 3 at the back system to try and stifle them but we saw how that turned out for the Germans. One thing is for sure, the boss of the Italian team is no stranger to facing the Blaugrana having met them eight times in four years during his spell in charge of AC Milan.

The bookies currently have the Spanish side as odds-on favourites with a best price of 4/6 available with Bet365. If you fancy the Italians to lift the crown in the 30th anniversary year of the Heysel stadium tragedy, they can be backed for as much as 5/1 in the outright win market. A better bet might be the 9/2 on offer from Bet365 for Alvaro Morata to continue his current streak and score anytime.

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