UEFA Champions League Final 2011 Barcelona v.s. Manchester United- Who will take the cup? Product-Boy Predicts Barcelona!
Two of the world’s greatest franchises will battle it out on Saturday, May 28th, for one of the most prestigious cups in futbol. Will a squad led by Lionel, Xavi, and Iniesta dominate Rooney and the Red Devils? Or does Ferguson still have some tricks up his sleeves?
With both teams battling for a 4th Champions League Cup, who will be the victors? With some sports analysis and obvious bias, Product-Boy has money on the Barcelona squad prevailing.
The UEFA Champions League, formerly known as the European Cup, is quite possibly the most important and highly publicized futbol tournament, second only to the FIFA World Cup. The best players in the world reside in European Club teams and once a year the best players within the best club teams battle it out. In a nutshell, this tournament is the best of the best competing for a title only 21 teams have had the honor to claim.
Both Barcelona and Man U. are battling to claim a 4th Champions League Cup title to be tied with Bayern Munich of Germany and Ajax of the Netherlands.
Who’s going to take the cup this year?
If you are a man of numbers, then the numbers point to Barcelona as the victors for this year’s cup. There seems to be a strong correlation between the possession time, shots attempted ON target, and obviously, the number of goals scored, with the rankings thus far. If you take a look at the figure, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Click here to view a more comprehensive list of the stats. However, stats can’t predict the psychological and physical conditioning of each player come game time.
Both teams have a very distinct style of play which will produce a very entertaining game regardless of the outcome. Untied has a very strong and quick squad. Overall, if each player’s defensive strengths were computed, Man U. outnumbers Barcelona. Although Barcelona has a very strong defensive line, rarely will you see Xavi or Lionel tackle players. There is a very fine division of labor on the Barcelona side. You have your defenders, your play makers, and your scorers. Even though Manchester United has a distinct defensive line, their entire team is capable of remarkable defending. The entire team is also capable of making plays and scoring goals. Obviously, this analysis is a generalization based on this past season and every once in a while there are players that do not fit within these assumptions.
Barcelona’s strength lies in creating space by moving the ball back, having enormous patience, and opening up the field, whereas Man U. is very quick to get the ball on the offensive and generate break-aways. Since Man U. will NOT sit back and congest their half of the field like Real Madrid did in the first leg of the Semi-Finals, they will rush at the Barcelona mid and defensive lines, pushing them to play a lot quicker and take more risks. The Man U. squad is very synchronized defensively as a team and will mark each player individually, making it very difficult for Barca.
Although Man U. has a very talented young striker from Mexico, Javier Hernández, he is no match for Puyol, Pique, and Alves. Rooney, being one of the top shooters on target of this tournament is the main threat from the Man U. lineup. However, on the other end of the field, you have Lionel Messi, with the most goals in the tournament thus far (11 goals), and Pedro, tied with Hernandez of Man U. with 4 goals. Take a look at the list of top goal scorers of the tournament here.
If your analysis is based on stats, then Barcelona will take the game hands down. However, if your analysis is based on game tactic, then it’s going to be a matter of preference. Assuming both teams step on the pitch ready to go, it’ll be a battle of the greatest ball movers vs one of the fastest teams to capitalize on breakaways and mistakes. Also, keep in mind that the game is in England, adding a bit of energy from the crowd to the Man U. lineup.
What does Product-Boy Think?
If Lionel is on top of his game, regardless of how well the Man U. lineup fends off his attacks, Barcelona will win. Yes, we predict that if this single player is on top of the game, he will cause the ENTIRE Man U. squad to scramble! He is one of the very few players that will attack up to 5 defenders in a matter of seconds, leaving enormous amounts of space open for his teammates. Man U. on the other hand does not have anyone of that caliber.
Champions League Winners:
Real Madrid- 9 Championships
Milan- 7 Championships
Liverpool – 5 Championships
Bayern Munich- 4 Championships
Ajax- 4 Championships
Barcelona – 3 Championships
Inter Milan – 3 Championships
Manchester United- 3 Championships