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Busquets cleared to face Man United in Champions League final

| 16.05.2011

Barring any mishaps on the final game of the season, Pep Guardiola will be able to pick from a full strength squad when his Barcelona side face Manchester United in the Champions League final.

While there has been no official word from UEFA, Barcelona claim Sergi Busquets has been cleared of the racism charge held against him by Real Madrid and will be able to line up for the Blaugrana at Wembley.

Barcelona are the solid 4/9 favourites to lift the Champions League trophy on May 28 and the news that Busquets is free to play will only enhance Barcelona’s position in the betting.

While his reputation has preceded him recently, Busquets is a key component of the Barcelona side and his loss would have been a huge blow to Guardiola.

The midfielder has featured in 41 of Barcelona’s 60 games this season and has only tasted defeat on three of those occasions.

Busquets provides the cover for the likes of Xavi and Andreas Iniesta to dictate the tempo of the play and while he has only scored once this season, his role in the centre is one not to be underestimated.

Both Guardiola and Sir Alex Ferguson know the game will be won in midfield and as Guardiola can boast a world cup winning trio, the edge has to be in their favour.

Manchester United are 13/8 to lift the Champions League trophy and 12/5 to beat Barcelona inside 90 minutes but the Spanish champions are the 10/11 favourites to win inside 90 minutes and are currently the subject of continued support.

It will be a great battle between the two domestic champions of the English and Spanish leagues in European football’s showpiece, but many will hope Busquets’ playacting will not overshadow the occasion.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.