LFC Champions League 2018

Champions League Final: Liverpool To Edge Past Real Madrid In European Showpiece?

Real Madrid and Liverpool are the teams. Kyiv is the location. The greatest trophy in all of club football is the prize.

The Champions League final is the climax of the European club season, bringing an end to a lengthy tournament from the July qualifying rounds through to the tension of knockout football.

Away from the chaos with transport and accommodation, it is the highlight of the year for fans of the respective clubs, and probably a fair few others.

Real and Liverpool are caked in European success. Madrid have won a total 12 European Cups and Champions Leagues, including the last two competitions.

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Liverpool have won – as we are often reminded – five, with their last coming on that remarkable night in Istanbul in 2005. Our team guides gave us all the background on both teams ahead of this one.

We learned that Liverpool have the form in their favour. The English side have been simply sublime in recent months.

Real have not been exactly stellar in recent weeks, as the campaign focussed on the Champions League once Barcelona had romped to a comfortable lead in La Liga.

Jurgen Klopp’s team have been flying, while scoring goals at a rate almost unmatched around Europe.

Goals are always one of the safest bets for Liverpool. Yeah, I hear the cry that finals are usually cagey, but that’s not a concept in Klopp’s world.

There will be no special adjustments for Klopp’s heavy metal football for this one. The 6/5 price on over 3.5 total goals is great value. This match could be a real end-to-end affair.

Both teams will look to fly forward in attack and that should see a lot of exposed midfielders. Tactical fouls are likely from both teams. I was surprised to see over 5.5 cards as long as 27/25.

If the match goes as expected, neither team will really dominate the ball. Real Madrid average 55% possession per match in the Champions League so far this season but are at a decent 17/20 to have under 54.5% in the final.

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I think Real will be willing to sit deep in Kyiv, particularly if they can avoid conceding an early goal. Zinedine Zidane may opt for a low block to close space behind the defence, which may see Liverpool have more than 45% of the ball.

The hope is this match does not descend into stopping one another but becomes a straight shootout. We have a plethora of attacking talent on show, and this has the makings of an all-time great Champions League encounter.

Two of the best players on the planet will have all the attention ahead of kick-off. Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo could be battling for the 2018 Ballon d’Or in a few months, and this match might turn out to be decisive in that vote.

My favourite bet from the match has to be Ronaldo and Salah to score, over 4.5 cards and over two corners each per half at 5/1. I expect a goalfest this Saturday, making Ronaldo and Salah goals almost inevitable.

TIP: Liverpool to win 3-2 @ 20/1

 

*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*