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Women's Champions League Final - Football: Preview

Barcelona, the defending champions, and Lyon, the record seven-time winners, clash in an eagerly-contested Women's Champions League final at the Juventus Stadium in Turin on Saturday night.

Barcelona versus Lyon is a repeat of the 2019 final which the French side won 4-1 but three years on and the balance of power at the top level of the women's game has shifted.

Now, heading to Italy for the 21st final, it's Barcelona who rule the roost and the reigning champs are 1/2 in 90-minute betting. Lyon are 9/2 with the draw available at 4/1.

Perfect end to a perfect season?

Barcelona have been little short of perfect in 2021-22 under head coach Jonatan Giraldez.

Domestically, it has been a procession. On Sunday they beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 to complete a magical league campaign, featuring 30 wins from 30 matches played. They finished 24 points clear of second-placed Sociedad, conceded only 11 goals and ended up with a simply staggering goal difference of plus 148.

In January they crushed Atletico 7-0 to win the Super Cup and few expect them to miss out in the Copa de la Reina either. They play Real Madrid in their semi-final next week.

Captain Alexia Putellas has scored 18 league goals, four more in the domestic cups and 10 in the Champions League, but there is firepower wherever you look with six of the side having reached double figures in their league campaign alone.

Lyon looking for double delight

Lyon have barely been any less dominant in France, the difference being that they aren't in a class of their own.

After winning 12 straight Feminine Division 1 titles they were pickpocketed last year by Paris Saint-Germain and this year PSG have again kept company with Sonia Bompastor's girls.

With two games left there is just five points between first-placed Lyon and PSG and, intriguingly, they play each other in a massive encounter in Paris next weekend.

It's a fantastic rivalry between these two French powerhouses and Lyon will be desperate to reclaim their crown, especially having been humbled 3-0 by PSG in the Coupe de France Feminine back in January, a defeat that have subsequently avenged in the Champions League.

Goals are flowing in Europe

Both Barcelona and Lyon know how to find the net against lesser opposition and they've been fairly ruthless throughout their runs to the Champions League final.

Barca won nine of their 10 games played, the only loss coming in the second leg of their semi-final against Wolfsburg when the tie was already over. In those 10 games they have scored 37 times.

They've unloaded more shots than any other side and keep the ball better than anyone else with a possession stat of 66 percent throughout the competition. Teams just can't get the ball off them.

Lyon have been less flamboyant perhaps – they chalked up 19 goals in a group stage which did include a loss at Bayern Munich – and also lost 2-1 at Juventus in the first leg of their quarter-final.

Then came two titanic tussles with PSG in the semis which they won 3-2 at home and 2-1 away. Catarina Macario, their Brazilian-born US international striker, scored twice in the home leg and has seven goals to her name in the finals.

Over 2.5 goals is a 8/13 chance and you'd be brave betting against it.

Lyon will need Norwegian legend and former Ballon D'Or winner, Ada Hegerberg, the woman who bagged a hat-trick when her side destroyed Barcelona in that final three years ago, at her best and they do leak goals.

Both teams scored in all of Lyon's four knockout ties and while Bompastor would love to keep the game tight, the sense is an early goal will open things up.

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