Juventus vs Barcelona: Five reasons why Max Allegri's men will win the Champions League

Italian champions heavy underdogs to win first European Cup since 1996

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The Independent Football

Work rate

Juventus' No 1 asset is their willingness to work hard and muck in as a team. They will run and run and run, as they proved in the second leg of the semi-final at the Bernabeu, where they run for 7.5km more than Real Madrid in the game.

Six of the top 10 players in the competition who have covered the most distance come from Juventus - as well as each of the top three, although Giorgio Chiellini won't be playing - whilst Barcelona's first man on the list is Neymar, way down in 13th.

Massimiliano Allegri's team not only have the quality to punish mistakes, they put in the blood and sweat to make their own luck.

Barcelona are known for their swarming pressing game, but Juventus have been the masters at it this season. They will never be out of the game as long as they keep believing.

Buffon and Pirlo swansong

Two of the greatest players of their generation, Gianluigi Buffon (37) and Andrea Pirlo (35) are surely playing in the last major finals of their illustrious careers.

Buffon has never won the competition and will be desperate to lift his third trophy of the season as captain of the Old Lady. Pirlo has won it twice in his Milan prime, but the last of those came in 2007.

Not only will the pair be desperate to win the competition, but their team-mates and fans all over the world will be pulling for the two legends to get their hands on the trophy.

 

Catenaccio

This Juventus team is much more than the old Italian stereotype of a being defensive and negative, but they can turn it that way if they really want to.

As numerous pundits, including Paul Scholes, have pointed out, the way to beat Barcelona isn't to try and play them at their own game, it's to form a defensive wall and let them try and break you down. With an experienced back-line and goalkeeper, and hard-workers throughout the team, Juventus should be able to execute this game plan better than most.

The injury to Giorgio Chiellini is a massive shame, but Juventus still have the players to pull it off.

Set-pieces

For all their attacking brilliance Barcelona do have one slight chink in their armour - set-pieces. The problem is winning attacking free-kicks and corners and then having someone with the quality to deliver dangerous balls.

They have that man in Pirlo and with Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets the only players over 6ft in the Barca team, Juventus could look to exploit that with the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli, Alvaro Morata and even Patrice Evra, a strong aerial threat.

Underdog story

Ok, ok, we're clutching at straws a bit. But no one expected Juventus to get past Real Madrid, and they were undoubtedly the better team in both legs, playing the tie to perfection.

Allegri has proven to be a shrewd tactician this season and will have his Juve team extremely well prepared to deal with the monumental Barcelona threat.

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