Battle Lines Drawn For European Soccer Showcase Finals

The line-ups for the finals of both Europe’s most prestigious club football competitions have been decided.

In the Champions League, Italian giants Juventus will take on Spanish galacticos Real Madrid.

The final in Cardiff will be the 19th time the two stalwarts have meet in the European Cup or Champions League.

Honours are even with eight wins each and three draws. Juventus has scored 21 goals in the matches against Real Madrid’s 18.

Both teams have played each other in the European Cup Final of 1997-98, when Real Madrid won 1-0.

Predrag Mijatovic scored midway through the second half.

The last time they met was in the Champions League semi-finals in 2014-15, when Juventus went through 3-2 on aggregate.

Honours even for Juve and Real Madrid

The scorers were Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid and Alvaro Morata (2) and Carlos Tevez for Juve. Morata now lines up for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid have picked up the trophy 11 times to twice by Juventus.

Real Madrid knocked out neighbours Atletico Madrid 4-2 on aggregate to reach the final, while Juventus beat French side Monaco 4-1 on aggregate.

The final will kick off at 20.45 (CET) on Saturday, June 3.

Meanwhile, two more European war horses have reached the Europa League final.

Manchester United will face Ajax Amsterdam in Stockholm at 20.45 (CET) on Wednesday, May 24.

Manchester United reached the final beating Spanish side Celta Vigo 2-1 on aggregate.

United’s Marouane Fellaini scored the winning goal at Old Trafford.

Bookies’ favourites

Ajax held on as 5-4 aggregate winners against French side Lyon after holding a 4-1 advantage from the first leg.

The Europa League was formerly the UEFA Cup. Ajax have lifted the trophy twice, while Manchester United have yet to chalk up a win.

Both finals are considered showcase matches of European football and will be watched on TV by millions of viewers worldwide.

The winners both qualify for next year’s Champions League competition.

The bookies rate Real Madrid 5/6 to win, with Juventus at 11/10, while Manchester United are 8/15 favourites to take the Europa League, with Ajax at 7/4.

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