The countdown to the Champions League final has begun

THE European Champions League final in Athens next Wednesday has all the elements for an absorbing and captivating showdown between two of Europe’s football aristocrats – AC Milan and Liverpool.

The pondering over who will do what, when and how has been unrelenting since the beginning of the month when Italy’s most successful club in Europe, and England’s equivalent, booked their berths in a final that will play out as a repeat of the 2005 edition.

On that occasion Milan let slip a three-goal advantage in the space of six disastrous second-half minutes. It gave Liverpool a lifeline, one that they went on to maximise in a successful penalty shootout.

Now, as they prepare to face-off in what can best be described as a “grudge match”, although the Italians continue to play down this angle, there appears to be a lessening of the odds favouring the Milan side.
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