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UEFA Champions League Final Preview

 

The Champions League is nearly over, with one match left to play. Over the course of the tournament many headlines were created and upsets were had. In the group stages Sevilla crashed out once again and Man United completely flopped while youngsters Warren Zaire-Emery and Jude Bellingham broke out. In the round of 16, F.C. Porto played Arsenal close in the tie, but the Gunners were able to pull it out on penalties in the end. In the quarterfinal PSG pulled out a remarkable comeback while Dortmund beat Atletico Madrid in a thriller as well. In the same round, Bayern Munich topped Arsenal and Real Madrid knocked out the former champions Man City on penalties. In the Semifinals, Dortmund shocked PSG with a 2-0 victory on aggregate and Real Madrid won because of a miracle brace from Josealu. All this leads to a final matchup between the dominant Real Madrid and the constant underdog Borussia Dortmund, where the biggest match of the season will take place in Wembley.

Real Madrid are the titans of soccer, and it seemed like destiny that they would end up in the final. They have won the title more than any other club by a landslide, with their fourteen titles doubling the next closest organization. Los Blancos are headlined by attacking superstars Vini Jr, Rodrygo, Jude Bellingham, and Toni Kroos. They are backed by world class center back Antonio Rudiger and veteran Nacho. Between the posts is Andriy Lunin who only saw the field as a result of a long term injury for Thibaut Courtois, but since then has shined bright. Madrid was dominant until their meeting with Man City, where it took penalties to separate the teams and Lunin made crucial saves to win it. The club looked dead to rights against Bayern Munich, where they trailed by one with two minutes left in the match until little known veteran attacker Joselu netted two goals in quick succession to miraculously send Los Blancos into the final. They have more quality than Dortmund, but they have been less than convincing in the previous two rounds. This leaves the question of whether or not Madrid will put their foot down on Dortmund, or if they will see their 15th title slip away.

Borussia Dortmund have been an underdog story the entire tournament. They started the tournament in Group F, infamously nicknamed “the group of death” which included PSG, AC Milan, and Newcastle. Although many people predicted they would not advance past this group, they came out at the top with eleven points.  Dortmund has not been led by superstar players, but is a team that flows well together and performs under pressure. They are led in attack by Niclas Fullkrug, Julian Brandt, and Jaden Sancho who is on loan after a tumultuous year with Manchester United. They are anchored by Nico Schlotterbeck and Mats Hummels in defense, with elite swiss keeper Gregor Kobel in net. After advancing from the group stage, Dortmund easily handled PSV before being faced with Atletico Madrid. After losing the first match of the tie, Dortmund pulled off a dramatic comeback at home where they scored two goals late to win on aggregate. They then faced PSG in the semi-final, where Dortmund shocked many by pulling out two 1-0 wins and shutting down opposing superstart Kylian Mbappe. They are the clear underdogs in the final, but can their unbelievable run have a storybook ending?

Authors prediction:

With the two clubs facing each other, it seems like the clear choice for victory is Real Madrid to win with ease. However, it is never that simple in a UCL final. There have been many remarkable upsets, and anything is possible. It does appear that Real Madrid will have the upperhand, especially coming off a La Liga title while Dortmund have been far from ideal in their domestic league. With that said, Real Madrid have too much quality and experience to lose. 3-0 Real Madrid.

Other predictions.

CBS Sports :2-1 Real Madrid

Bleacher Report : 3-1 Real Madrid

JCHS student Spencer Budris : 1-0 Real Madrid

https://www.hellotickets.com/united-kingdom/london/sports/uefa-champions-league-final-2024-tickets/380006

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