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Champions League Final Preview

Manchester United v Barcelona in the Champions League final at Wembley. It doesn’t get much better than that. After both teams brushed aside their semi-final opponents, the football event of the season takes place later this month.

Aside from the supporters of other teams competing in the Champions League, this is the final everybody wanted.

Manchester United, the most famous club in the world against Barcelona, whose current crop are rated by some as the best club team ever to have played the game.

These two teams against each other at anytime would be special, but in the Champions League final at Wembley? It doesn’t get much better than this.

Getting down to business on who are favourites, it is clear that the Spanish side are expected to be walking up the famous Wembley steps as Champions.

They are the without doubt the team to beat in Europe these days and even Manchester United go into games against them as underdogs.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men cannot be ruled out though, not by a long shot. They may not have match Barcelona in some departments, but you will do well to find a more organised and focused group of players.

The Red Devils have only conceded four goals in this Champions League this season, a remarkable achievement and testament to what they are all about.

They have their own stars too though. Wayne Rooney is a very different player to Lionel Messi, but the Englishman is equally as important to his team. He has find form at the right time of the season too.

To be on the winning side against a team that contains Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra, Edwin van der Sar and Rooney is no mean feat. They are all an experienced part of a well drilled unit and heavily involved in the most ‘effective when they need to be' United team for a while.

There are new stars this year too, with Javier Hernandez and Nani have excellent seasons and proving they can have an impact on the biggest stage.

All of this taken into consideration, Barcelona are still slight favourites. They are almost unstoppable on their day and a joy to watch even when they are not.

In Messi they have the best player in the world right now and even beyond him they carry a massive threat. With Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Xavi and Pedro in their ranks, it is certainly not a case of ‘you stop Messi, you stop Barcelona’, even if it might help.

The biggest conclusion at this stage of proceedings though, is that this could be one of the greatest Champions League finals of all time.

It is certainly the biggest spectacle in this competition for some time and if the game lives up to the undoubtedly huge expectation, we are in for quite a treat.

Euro 2012

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