Europe serves intense crown battles
Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha
New Delhi: European football will be at its best on Saturday as the continent is ready to host three major finals on Saturday in Spain, England and Germany.
Atletico, who are La Liga leaders face a Barcelona side who look determined not to end their season trophy-less. Barcelona claimed La Liga title in the last match of the season on nine occasions. Spain witnesses a league battle to be decided between two teams on the last day and that keeps the situation perfectly poised.
In England, Arsenal take on Hull City in the FA Cup final at Wembley. Arsenal eye their first trophy after a barren 9-year spell. Germany, meanwhile, see champions Bayern Munich face rivals Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup final.
All three trophies have its significance in many ways and can spell a turnaround for the clubs involved.
Barcelona vs Atletico (La Liga):
For a change in Spain, La Liga looks to set off with a match of huge relevance at the Nou Camp that could pave a way for many new paths. Atletico have been one of the best teams in Europe this season and face defenders Barca in the season`s most important match. It couldn`t have come in a better time for both teams as they were subjected to play against each other in match-day 38.
Barca have been unable to beat Atletico in five attempts this season including the exit from Champions league. Simeone`s side lead Barca by three points and only a win for the latter could see them emerge champions. Diego Costa will start for the visitors and that is a major boost for Atletico.
Arsenal vs Hull City (FA Cup):
Arsenal lost to Birmingham City in 2010 in the FA Cup final and find themselves in a position to correct that. They face a resilient Hull side who under Steve Bruce have won hearts with their play this term. Arsene Wenger hasn`t won a trophy since nine years and after leading the Premier League for over four months, he saw his team finish fourth. An agony he would not like to face at Wembley.
The players have cited their hunger to win a title and this is their best chance to break a barren spell and create a new winning one from here on. The last time these sides met, Arsenal won 3-0 in an EPL encounter last month.
Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund (German Cup):
Bayern are looking to seal a treble this term and they take on a fierce Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp. With the Bundesliga already pocketed, Bayern want to inflict misery on Germany`s second best side. Pep Guardiola has surprisingly kept talismanic Mario Mandzukic out of the squad with further speculations rising to his move elsewhere in the summer. For Dortmund, Robert Lewandowski plays his last match for the yellow brigade before his move to Bayern and would want to end his BVB career with a trophy.
The last time these clubs met, Dortmund swept aside Bayern at the Allianz Arena and that will play heavy in Pep Guardiola`s mind. Dortmund would want to seal the Cup final and an intense rivalry is set to witness at the beautiful Olympiastadion in Berlin.