Champions League final: A tactical preview

Real Madrid and Juventus have gone through a series of exciting games to get to the final. Here's a look at the possible formations and tactics that both teams' managers will enforce on match day.

Massimiliano Allegri (left) will rack his brains to prevent Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid become the first team to defend the Champions League title.   -  Getty Images

Juventus and Real Madrid face off in the Champions League final, with Madrid seeking its 12th title while the former is looking to secure its third. The teams have gone through a series of exciting games to get to the final. Here's a look at the possible formations and tactics that the both teams' managers will enforce on match day.  

JUVENTUS

Managed by Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus has successfully deployed the 4-3-2-1 formation for most of the season, which has been received well by fans and critics alike. However, Allegri put up a fresh display when his side played an ultra-attacking 3-4-2-1 formation in the second leg of the team's semifinal against Monaco. 

The formation ensured that Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic could control things from the center of the park and give Dani Alves more space to exploit on the right wing. The space led to him combining effectively with Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala, who plays an extremely vital role on the forward line with his powerful left foot.

This style of play allows Gonzalo Higuain to be the lone striker — his favourite position. It gives him the space he needs and he has scored five goals this Champions League.

Allegri also has able players — left-back Kwadwo Asamoah, winger Juan Cuadrado and midfielder Claudio Marchisio — on the bench. He might replace Alex Sandro with the more experienced Marchisio.

While the attacking line has done well this season, the defence has been absolutely top-notch. The water-tight back-line of Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci has let in only three goals throughout the championship.

Even better, the iconic  Gianluigi Buffon has kept eight clean-sheets between the posts in the 11 games he has played. A 4-3-2-1 formation would probably be the most suitable one to counter the formidable 4-3-1-2 formation played by Real Madrid.

REAL MADRID

Real Madrid has been touted as the most attacking side in the league for all the right reasons. Madrid's attack is spearheaded by the flamboyant Cristiano Ronaldo, who is strongly supported by Karim Benzema and Isco.

Managed by the charismatic Zinedine Zidane, Madrid has played a 4-3-1-2 formation, with Isco adopting the play-maker's role to perfection. With Daniel Carvajal, who has delivered four assists and, Gareth Bale also named in the squad for the final, it seems like Madrid will go for an all-attack approach.

Its defence is led by the talismanic Sergio Ramos, who is backed by Raphael Varane, Danilo and Marcelo, who are equally effective on the wings. When compared to Juventus though, the Madrid defence looks highly vulnerable as it has conceded 17 goals as compared to the former's three.

Can Madrid break into Juventus's unassailable defence? Will Ronaldo fire home again and help Madrid become the first club to retain the Champions League or will Buffon finally win the Champions League? All answers on Saturday night.

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