Champions League Final Preview
Man United and Barcelona make up the peoples final in this year's Champions League.
Arguably the best two teams in European competition they will clash in what is a repeat of the 2009 final which Barcelona won.
Man United will feel more at home in the majestic surroundings of Wembley Stadium as Barca will be stepping into a cauldron containing a largely partisan crowd of Manchester United fans, although there are expected to be at least 11'000 travelling Barca fans.
Both Manchester United and Barcelona are also aiming to complete the competition with an unbeaten record, both sides eased through their groups and the subsequent rounds. Manchester United are clearly the best team in England, but now they can prove that they are the best in Europe and possibly the world.
Alex Ferguson's side are 3/1 to win the final in 90 minutes, while Barca are marginally odds against at 21/20 with the draw being priced at 21/10.
We have several special offers on this game including four enhanced Match Winner selections. You can back Wayne Rooney to score and Man Utd to win at 6/1, while we offer the same with David Villa at 4/1. For the match to be decided by the dreaded penalty shootout we have enhanced the price to 6/1 and for the game to be decided in extra time you can get 9/2 about that happening.
'The little maestro', Lionel Messi will be the centre of attention for both the adoring fans and the United central defence, he alone has the ability to singlehandedly win the title for Barca and give the Catalans another opportunity to drop a trophy under a bus. At 5/1 you can back Messi to score first and 5/4 for an anytime goal.
Both Park and Valencia will be vital to assisting the United defence in dealing with the threat of Messi, but after his scintillating display against Chelsea Park will be coming into the final full of confidence. His ability to run for 90 minutes solid will be key in the quick counterattacking play that United are likely to employ, although they will have a more attack minded mentality the Red Devils will need to be wary of the attacking threats of the Barca front line.
Wayne Rooney is a big price at 8/1 to score first, if United will look to anyone to breach the Barca defence it will be the Scouser. Javier Hernandez has been a revelation this season for Man United, the young Mexican looks to be a legacy player at Old Trafford and he is 9/1 to score in his first ever Champions League final appearance.
Ryan Giggs has been in the papers a lot recently, due of course to his increase in form, and in what is surely his final Champions League final the Welsh Wonder will want to sign off his Man United career in style, scoring in Wembley at a price of 7/1 for an anytime could leave a lot of people happy.
At 11/4 it seems quite big to back Barca with a one goal handicap, if they score early they have the ability to tear Man United apart. Barca will be under some serious scrutiny after what can only be described as disgusting diving and faking of injury,
Pique is 7/4 to be booked while Vidic can be backed at 9/4 to be booked and if Man United adopt an overtly physical style, the enforcer will not be shy about getting stuck in.
For me, from a long time out, this has had a Barca win written all over it, their skill and finesse will prove too much for Man United's hunger and determination. I'd also fancy Messi to get on the score sheet during the game. So to sum it up in the words of the great Freddie Mercury...BARCELONAAAAAAA