IT’S Man United v Barcelona for the Champions League Final – but really it could be Alex Ferguson v Lionel Messi reckons the Daily Record’s “Mr Fixit” aka Paul Jain
While the players fight it out on the Wembley pitch the war could be won pre-match if the Old Trafford boss has worked out a way of stopping the world’s best player.
Jose Mourinho almost achieved it in the semi-finals as Real Madrid kept the Argentine ace and his team-mates quiet for well over two hours.
But eventually Messi found a way through and never looked back.
Man United sides normally let the opposition worry about them but Ferguson must have a plan.
When Messi plays Barca play – it’s as simple as that.
And in terms of a spectacle I hope he is allowed to flourish tonight and I’m taking the hitman supreme to see the Spaniards over the line.
On their day Barca are the best team in the world and I reckon they will edge this one.
Most of United’s good work this season has been done at Old Trafford – they won fewer league matches on their travels than relegated Blackpool – and that’s scary.
Messi is of course first scorer favourite and after two weeks of rest he could be on fire.
Back him at a best 5-1 with Hills while he is 11-8 (boylesports) to score at any time.
Barca, of course, ooze menace from all over the pitch and David Villa is another who will be backed at 7-1 (Paddy Power).
World Cup Final goal hero Andres Iniesta is 14-1 with Hills while Xavi is 25-1 with the same firm.
Man United’s hopes could rest on the shoulders of Wayne Rooney who is 8-1 with Hills. Like Messi he can be unplayable but hasn’t done it all season.
There are all sorts of Messi-Rooney specials on the go and Paddy Power make Messi 13-8 to score before the England star (4-9).
Messi is 1-2 to be first fouled and 1-3 to be most fouled.
Mexican star Javier Hernandez could provide a bigger threat than Rooney and is 9-1 with Hills.
If you fancy history repeating itself you can have 9-1 with Hills on a Barcelona to win 2-0 as they did in 2009.
Any player to win the game by scoring the winner in the 89th minute or later of normal time is 12-1 at Paddy Power.
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Good luck and enjoy the game.