- Champions League Betting Preview: Real Madrid vs. Liverpool – Goals guaranteed as attacking juggernauts clash in final
Champions League Betting Preview: Real Madrid vs. Liverpool – Goals guaranteed as attacking juggernauts clash in final
Two clubs with a history rich in European club football meet in one of the most eagerly-anticipated Champions League finals in recent memory on Saturday evening, when Real Madrid take on Liverpool at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev.
Los Merengues have been kings of the continent in each of the past two seasons, meaning a third Champions League final victory in a row – and a 13th overall – would place Zinedine Zidane’s side alongside highly esteemed company. Only three other club sides have achieved a trio of European titles: Bayern Munich and Ajax in the 1970s, and Madrid themselves around 60 years ago in the days of Alfredo Di Stefano.
However, opponents Liverpool are no strangers to lifting the trophy either. Only Real and Milan have done so on more occasions and victory for Jurgen Klopp’s charges in Kiev would take the Reds clear of Bayern and Barcelona on six wins.
Liverpool go into the final as underdogs, though. Klopp and his squad are at 28/13 with Unibet to win inside 90 minutes, with Real Madrid at a best price of 13/10 to win in normal time. The draw is at around 29/10.
Of course, neither side goes into this weekend’s final in particularly shimmering form. Real finished a massive 17 points behind bitter rivals Barcelona in the La Liga title race and ended up finishing third behind Atletico Madrid too. That was largely down to collecting only three wins from their last eight league fixtures – just one of those coming away from the Santiago Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, a similarly stuttering run of form from Liverpool in April and early May where they won just once in five Premier League matches, had Liverpool sweating on Champions League qualification for next year until the final day of the campaign. The Reds also came dangerously close to relinquishing a 5-2 first leg lead against Roma in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, losing 4-2 in the Italian capital.
Real themselves edged past their last four opponents, Bayern, too, with a 4-3 aggregate score enough for progression. It’s clear that while both of these teams score plenty of goals, they also concede lots too. Many punters will be eyeing up the both teams to score market, but they’ll have to look harder for value with the longest price there at around 4/9.
An alternative could be the over or under goals market. Real have scored at least twice in seven of their last eight European matches, while Liverpool have in nine of their last ten. The Spanish side have put three past Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus this season, while the Premier League outfit have pumped five past Porto and Roma and three past Manchester City. Over 3.5 goals at 5/4 is a very sound bet indeed. Interestingly, the last four meetings between these two sides has always featured a clean sheet – although the teams haven’t met since November 2014.
If there are to be goals then there are two clear favourites as to who is going to get them.
It’s been a standout season for Mohamed Salah at Anfield. The Egyptian forward has netted 44 times in all competitions in his first year on Merseyside and, should he continue this form, he’ll likely be running the usual suspects Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo close for the Ballon d’Or next time around. Salah has 11 goals in this season’s Champions League and he’s at 23/5 to break the deadlock or 5/4 to score anytime against Real. Elsewhere, the Premier League’s Golden Boot winner is at 6/1 to pick up the man of the match award.
At the other end of the pitch, Ronaldo will be attempting to become the first player in the Champions League era to feature in five final victories. You could say it’s been another average season for the Portuguese star with 42 goals to his name and the 33-year-old won’t have too many more opportunities to break records despite his eye-watering statistics. The top scorer in this tournament with 15 goals is 16/5 to score first or 17/20 to find the back of the net at any time over the 90 minutes.
One of many excellent aspects of Ronaldo’s game is his aerial prowess and Liverpool can be shaky at set pieces due to their lack of height, although the acquisition of Virgil van Dijk has addressed that to a certain degree. One man hoping to take advantage will be Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, who has a knack of scoring in big games. The skipper, who netted in both the 2014 and 2016 finals against Atletico, is a massive 25/1 to score first or 15/2 to score at any time.
This is certainly set up to be a breathless final. Real Madrid have won this competition coming off the back of terrible league campaigns before. When Real finished fourth in Spain in 1998, they won the Champions League. When Real finished fifth in 2000, they won the Champions League. They’re well-versed in rising to the big occasion – but so are their opponents. However it finishes, it’s guaranteed to be an entertaining evening in Kiev.
To find out the best online betting sites to have a flutter on this much anticipated fixture check out our betting site reviews.