Italy vs France promises to be a classic – two teams extremely strong in defense and fast on the counter and down the flanks. For the clubs whose players are involved in the World Cup final though, winning the trophy will mean a triumph for them as well.
Juventus lead the way with 8 players involved in the final – Buffon (GK), Thuram (D), Cannavaro (D), Zambrotta (D), Vieira (M), Camoranesi (M), Del Piero (S) and David Trezeguet (S). Of these, Trezeguet and Del Piero are expected to be on the bench, although you can expect a cameo appearance from Del Piero (Trezeguet might not even get subbed in by Domenech).
Lyon themselves have 5 players involved in the World Cup final – Coupet (GK), Abidal (D), Malouda (M), Wiltord (ST) and Govou (ST), although only two of these are expected to start (Abidal and Malouda). With Barthez’s shaky performance last night there have been rumours that Coupet might be called in – that would be a positive surprise from a largely negative coach (Domenech).
The top goal-scoring clubs list is currently topped by Chelsea and Arsenal at 8 goals apiece, with Real Madrid close behind with 7. One of these three clubs is destined to walk away with the most goals of the tournament, with Werder Bremen (6) and Bayern Munich (5) surely too far behind to catch up even if Germany beat Portugal by a landslide on Saturday.
Chelsea have Makelele and Gallas as first-starters in the French lineup, and will be hoping one of these two score. What is more likely is that Arsenal, with Henry leading the French attack and desperately needing a good game to finish off the tournament with a flourish, will take top spot with Henry scoring his fourth goal of the tournament.
Manchester United have only one player showing up at the final, and that too as a sub. Saha is suspended, thanks to two yellow cards in two ridiculous 10-minute cameos in the quarter-final and semi-final. Silvestre will be on the bench, and if France are to win they would hope that he stays there.
Juventus and Lyon both featured in the list of clubs with the most players involved at the 2006 World Cup (Juventus with 12, Lyon with 10) as well.