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May 25, 2009

History will be made when FC Barcelona meet Manchester United in the Olympic Stadium at Rome. No team has ever been successful in defending the UEFA Champions League title and no Spanish team has ever achieved a treble. So it is sure that one record is to be brocken, but which one? Manchester United most probably would have the entire squad minus Fletcher to chose for the final. Rio Ferdinand was a doubful starter but he is expected to be in the starting eleven. Meanwhile FC Barcelona already have three defenders missing from their squad- Marquez is out injured and Abidal as well as Alves are both are suspended. There are still doubts about Henry and Iniesta's participation in Rome. Hence it is logical to say that Manchester United looks well placed to retain their title this season. Now that's on paper. Massimo Busacca, the swiss referee has been given the responsibility of officiating in the final. FC barcelona has not yet lost a match when he has officiated. The last match of FC Barcelona under his supervision was the first leg of last year's semi-final against Manchester United. But then there is not much reason with that to cheer as Manchester United also looks like have never lost when he has officiated.

FC Barcelona has won their two previous European cup while starting as the home team. In the 4-0 loss to Milan we were the Away team. FC Barcelona is chosen as the Home team in this final and that is a positive fact to hang on; to make it more interesteing Manchester United's three European Cup Triumphs they were the home team. But the Manchester United has a 100% record in the European Cup finals and they do have a defeinite edge over Barca in elimination rounds. Mean while Iniesta and Henry trained along with other players but not that strenuously. Both of them have trained in the last training session before leaving to Rome. Meanwhile Botía and Marc Muniesa is also expected to make into the travelling party along with the entire squad. Whatever be the facts and stats, the majority of football pundits is backing Manchester United against FC Barcelona in this final. Now that's a change to start as the under-dogs.

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