Pique identifies biggest Champions League threat for Barcelona

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Gerard Pique has highlighted stopping Wayne Rooney having a big impact on the Champions League final as one of the key elements of the Spaniards winning at Wembley.

Manchester United are sure to have their hands full containing Lionel Messi, but Barcelona defender Pique is fully aware that Rooney is capable of being a similar menace for his team to deal with.

Pique has some knowledge of Rooney from the time the pair have previously spent together at Manchester United and hopes to use this as an advantage in the Champions League final.

He said: “Rooney is one of the best strikers in the game and has scored a lot of goals. It was always difficult playing against him in training as it is with Messi now.

“I will have to concentrate hard to not to give him space. We both want to win this game and we will be fighting for our own interests.”

Rooney is liable to need to play to his peak if Manchester United are to beat Barcelona and it is 13/8 that the Red Devils lift their fourth Champions League trophy.

It is 11/4 in the Champions League odds that Manchester United win inside 90 minutes, while there is a specific market as to what will happen to Rooney first at Wembley.

Rooney is 4/1 to score as his first main contribution, but if he frustrated by the likes of Pique and co, 11/4 could be good value that his hot head shines through and he collects a card first.

Punters fancying Rooney to find the target at Wembley can take advantage of 9/4 that he scores at any time in the 90 minutes, while he is 6/1 to break the deadlock.

A £30 stake on Rooney’s first real contribution being assisting a Manchester United goal would return £180. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.