Having grilled La Liga expert Guillem Balague on Wednesday's Champions League Final, we put the same questions to his Sky Sports colleague, famed pundit Andy Gray...
Are United and Barcelona the two best teams in Europe?
I’d go as far as to say the two best club sides in the world. I can’t think of anyone else who could justifiably say they’re up there alongside United and Barcelona. United are the world champions and Barcelona have been sensational this season.
Finals aren’t always great spectacles, but could this be the exception?
Potentially it will be. Barcelona will fear and respect United’s players, but they won’t change the way they play because of that. United will set up to respect that but also entertain. It’s all there for a great game, but these are two teams who can also do the ugly aspects of the game. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in the final.
Which team is going to be most hindered by suspensions and absentees?
It’s a real benefit to United that Barcelona are missing Daniel Alves and Eric Abidal. They’d have run United’s wide players deep into their own half, and will be missed. But I think Darren Fletcher is a bigger loss to United. I doubt anybody would have expected that last August, but his influence can’t be overstated now.
How do you expect the managers to approach things tactically?
Barcelona went at Chelsea, kept the ball for long periods with four at the back, three tight in midfield and that famous three upfront, both home and away. United will have to cope with that, and I think they’ll go like for like and try to get about them high up the pitch. If Fletcher hadn’t been suspended, I think the team that went to the Emirates would be the same team that started in Rome.
The hype of Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi is inevitable. Who do you think is the better player?
At the moment you have to say Ronaldo. In the big games, he has been there and pulled the stops out. Messi has yet to prove against Premier League sides and in big games that he really can do the business, whereas we know Ronaldo can. He showed it in last year’s final, in this year’s