England are sitting extremely pretty at the top of their qualifying group winning 4 and drawing 1 of their 5 games played so far. England for the first time in many years under Gareth Southgate have decided to pick players based on form rather than on their reputation and experience, which is giving this English side a sense of ruthlessness that they have been missing. They have already scored 8 goals in 4 games without conceding a goal, and managed another 0-0 other than that. England will look to start up front with an attacking group of players led by Premier League Golden Boot winner Harry Kane, well supported by the likes of Sterling and Oxlade-Chamberlain along with a central midfield pairing of Dele Alli, Lallana and Dier. England will look to 3 points here as a top priority as it could potentially stretch their lead to 7 points.
Italy came through their group stages in 2nd spot but still managed to qualify after securing 4 points from the opening stage. Their games were entertaining with 7 goals in the 3 games. While they lost 1-0 to Uruguay; they drew 2-2 with Japan and beat South Africa by a score of 2-0. They played an exciting game ousting France by a score of 2-1 in the first knockout stage. Overall; they have shown they have the ability to score and find the back of the net. Riccardo Orsolini leads the way for Italy knocking down 3 goals for the team so far while Giuseppe Panico managed to hit 2 goals. They have shown to be vulnerable at the back conceding 3 goals in their last 3 games.
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Real Madrid have already reached a record 15th UEFA Champions League final. The spanish soccer club are hoping to win their 12th title on Saturday against Italian side Juventus in a rematch of the 1998 championship match.
Juventus are six-time runners-up in the Champions League final and fell to Real Madrid 1-0 the last time they met in this situation. That was nearly 20 years ago, and Juventus have arguably been the better squad overall during Champions League play this season.
The head-to-head record between Juventus and Real Madrid is perfectly balanced, with eight wins each and two draws. However, their only previous meeting in the Champions League final saw Real Madrid win 1-0 in 1998 thanks to a Pedrag Mijatovic goal.
Real Madrid have reached the European Cup/Champions League final for the 15th time, four more than any other club (AC Milan, 11). They’ve won 11 of the previous 14, again more than any other team in history. In fact, they’ve won each of their last five finalsin the competition, last losing in 1981 against Liverpool.
Juventus are the only unbeaten team in this season’s Champions League (W9 D3). They are the first team since Atlético Madrid in 2013/14 to reach the final without losing a single game.
In fact, no team has lifted the Champions League trophy without suffering a single defeat since Manchester Utd did it in 2007/08.
The return of the play-off final in the Netherlands will be played on Sunday. Utrecht will see AZ in this game, but this time at their own Stadium. It will be a really hard task to turn around the first game which they lost with 3-0 at AZ, but Dutch games have shown before that nothing is impossible. Utrecht finished 4th in the Eredivisie with a big number of 11 points ahead of Vitesse. They scored 54 goals and conceded 38 in 34 games played, giving them the average of 1.59 goals scored on average and 1.12 conceded. Decent averages if you ask me. Utrecht are most good in scoring goals in the right time and against the right opponent.
– Utrecht are in great form at home
– Conceded only 1 goal in last 5 home games
Chelsea come into this encounter aiming to do the domestic double against one of their chief rivals in Arsenal who have been struggling and are further disappointed at the fact that they finished 5th and got stuck with the Europa League for next season, which is the first time it happened in Wenger’s tenure. Chelsea will look to ride the high and the confidence within the team into this encounter considering they have gone on a solid 7 wins in a row heading into this encounter. They have scored 24 goals in that span showcasing the class and form that this team have heading into this encounter. The likes of Costa, Hazard, Willian, Pedro will all be looking to add to their tally to close out a successful season. Chelsea will look to have a better defensive showing coming into this encounter as they have conceded in 4 out of their last 7 games heading into this encounter.
Real Sociedad come into this encounter knowing that a loss is not an option as they go in search of a Europa League spot against Celta Vigo tonight. Real Sociedad go into his game knowing they are in good form as they have a 5 match unbeaten run behind them. They have drawn their last 2 with Sevilla and Malaga; and prior to that beaten Granada, Valencia and Deportivo. Sociedad will turn to a full attacking lineup this afternoon with the likes of Willian Jose, Juanmi and Carlos Vela all potentially starting as they have been the ones with the continue scoring heading into this encounter.
Hoffenheim come into this encounter knowing that a victory for them and a slip from Dortmund will see them overtake Dortmund to the automatic spot of qualification for the Champions League next season. Hoffenheim have been in a team in great scoring form and are the 3rd highest scorers in the Bundesliga across the season and at home. They have relied on the likes of Wagner, Kramaric, Szalai and Uth who have scored 41 goals among them this season. Hoffenheim have won 7 straight games since the turn of the new year while conceding only 4 goals in that span showcasing their strong defensive showing. They had scored 19 goals in that span.
Celtic have sealed their 48th Premiership this season since way back in April and are now looking to be crowned as Champions remaining undefeated in the entire season in the Premiership. Celtic are also trying to create history by beating the 103 points that they had collected back in the early 2000’s. The form of their players has been extremely evident as they have scored 99 goals in 36 games, which is almost 2.5 team goals per game. Celtic will look to their key forwards Scott Sinclair (21 goals), Stuart Armstrong (14 goals) and Leigh Griffiths (10 goals) to lead their line and continue their success of pumping goals against any and all opponents so far this season. 5 out of the last 6 games played by Celtic have seen their games go over 2.5 goals primarily due to defensive lapses by Celtic where they have conceded in 5 out of those 6 games.
Milan come into this encounter with an extremely slim chance of landing a Europa League spot; but with just 6 points separating them and tonight’s opponents Atalanta, it could bring them to within 3 points should they be able to land a victory tonight. Milan will be looking to take the attack to Atalanta through their attacking 4-3-3 formation that has delivered goals for them in recent weeks, but it is their defense that need to step up.