Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

BEST OF DEFENCE V BEST OF ATTACK; Chilled-Out Chiellini Can Lead Italians to Glory by Shutting out Ronaldo and His Star-Studded Mates CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL TONIGHT, CARDIFF, 7.45

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

BEST OF DEFENCE V BEST OF ATTACK; Chilled-Out Chiellini Can Lead Italians to Glory by Shutting out Ronaldo and His Star-Studded Mates CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL TONIGHT, CARDIFF, 7.45

Article excerpt

Byline: MR FIXIT PAUL JAIN@MRFIXITSTIPS

WHEN Juventus sent Barcelona spinning out in the last eight without conceding I thought there and then they could go all the way.

The Italians then dumped a magical Monaco side in equally emphatic style but need to take down Real Madrid in Cardiff today to be crowned kings of Europe.

Real live for the Champions League and can beat any side on their day - and that's the key. They've won the crown 11 times but are bidding to be the first side to win back to back.

The Madrid men are marginal favourites at 10-11 with Skybet to lift the trophy while Juve are 24-23 at 188Bet.

To win in 90 minutes you can have Real at 9-5 with Marathonbet with the Italians 2-1 at betfair and a draw that forces extra time 9-4 with the same firm.

Cristiano Ronaldo proved with Portugal he can drag teams over the line to the biggest prizes but he and his team-mates are up against probably the best defence in world football.

It could come down to stoppers v strikers and maybe even Ronaldo v Giorgio Chiellini or Gareth Bale (if he starts) and Karim Benzema against Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli.

Juve have conceded just three goals in this season's campaign and the last one came when they were already over the line against Monaco.

every Champions League encounter this season and scored 106 goals in La Liga on the way to pipping Barca for the title. They are top scorers in the tournament.

Real have been vulnerable at the back though with just one clean sheet in Europe - against Atletico Madrid - and 17 goals conceded to the likes of Legia Warsaw, Sporting and Napoli - so both to score could be a way to go if you believe Buffon can be breached. That pays 21-20 at betfair.

Ronaldo will be the most backed first scorer after hitting knockout hat-tricks against Bayern Munich and Atletico. He is 41-10 at Marathonbet to break the deadlock and 16-11 at 888sport to net.

Bale will be a popular choice especially with Welsh fans in the stadium if he gets the nod ahead of Isco. …

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