The biggest game of the season is scheduled for Saturday, May 26th, 2018, when in the UEFA Champions League Final at NSC Olympiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, the defending champion Real Madrid meets Liverpool. The bookmakers favor Los Blancos at -150 to retain the crown for the third time in a row, while the Reds are slight underdogs at +120 to win their second Champions League trophy in this century, so let’s see what can the bettors and soccer fans expect from this clash.
ODDS TO WIN UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Real Madrid -150
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
3-Way: 1: Real Madrid +120; X: +260 Draw; 2: Liverpool +200 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread -0.5: Real Madrid +120; Liverpool -140
Total +3: Over -130; Under +110
Los Blancos are searching for their third consecutive title in the UEFA Champions League, 13th in the history of the club, knowing that another crown will put them among the legends, as no one has managed to win the Champions League trophy even two times in a row, besides the mighty Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane’s boys are having a poor campaign in the Spanish La Liga, sitting at the third spot of the table with one more round to go, so only one thing can save the season, and they are certainly well aware how important this game is for everyone at Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid played twelve games in the UEFA Champions League this season, recording eight wins, two draws, and two losses with a goal difference of 30:15 which is 3.75 goals per contest on average, while only one out of these twelve tilts had less than three goals in the total. Los Blancos have beaten Bayern Munich 4-3 on aggregate in the Semi-Finals, winning the first leg 2-1 on the road, while in the Quarter-Finals, they’ve somehow managed to overcome Juventus 4-3 on aggregate, bagging the crucial goal in the dying moments of the second leg from a more than a questionable penalty kick. In the Round of 16, Real Madrid has eliminated another heavyweight Paris SG 5-2 on aggregate after a couple of wins in both legs.
Cristiano Ronaldo is leading his team with 43 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions, and he’s also a Champions League top goalscorer with 15 goals in 12 games this season. Gareth Bale has bagged 18 goals in 37 matches overall, netting four times in his previous three starts in the Spanish La Liga. The winger Lucas Vazquez is the team’s top assist-maker with 16 dishes in 52 appearances, while the striker Karim Benzema has added 12 assists to his name along with 11 goals in 45 matches this season. At the moment, there are no serious injury worries among Los Blancos’ squad, and the manager Zinedine Zidane will probably rest all key players in the final round of the La Liga next weekend.
The Reds are having a tremendous season, as rarely who could expect to see them in the UEFA Champions League Final, but Jurgen Klopp’s boys will have the chance to bring back the trophy to Anfield after a 13-year drought and get the sixth European champions’ crown in the history of the club. Liverpool has ended its’ English Premier League campaign at the fourth place of the table, clinching the Champions League spot for the next season, so now they can start the preparation for the clash against Los Blancos and focus on their biggest game of the season.
Liverpool played 14 matches in the UEFA Champions League this season including the qualification matchup, recording nine victories, four stalemates, and just one loss with a goal difference of 46:16 which is 4.43 goals per game on average, while twelve out of these 14 encounters had at least three goals on the scoreboard. The Reds have beaten AS Roma 7-6 on aggregate in the previous round, despite a 4-2 defeat in the second leg in Rome, while in the Quarter-Finals, they’ve upset Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate, beating the Citizens in both legs of the matchup. In the Round of 16, Liverpool has easily overcome Porto 5-0 on aggregate.
The winger Mohamed Salah is having a magnificent season so far, scoring 44 goals in 51 matches in all competitions, and he should be the main threat for Real Madrid’s defense, along with the skillful striker Roberto Firmino who’s bagged 27 goals in 52 appearances thus far. Firmino is the teams leading assist-maker with 17 dishes on his account, while Mohamed Salah has made 15 assists so far. At this point, the manager Jurgen Klopp can count on all players, besides the defenders Joel Matip and Joe Gomes who are both ruled out for the season due to injuries.
Betting Trends and Match Prediction
- Real Madrid kept the clean sheet just once in their last ten games overall
- Real Madrid’s previous six matches in all competitions had at least three goals in the total
- Real Madrid has a 4-4-2 record in their last ten encounters overall
- Liverpool kept the clean sheet in five out of their last ten tilts overall
- Liverpool has a 5-3-2 record in their previous ten games in all competitions
- Seven out of Liverpool’s last ten matches had more than two goals on the scoreboard
This will be the battle of two different football philosophies, as Real Madrid insists on a ball possession, while Liverpool prefers counter-attacking through a direct style of play, so the fans should get a tremendous game with plenty of scoring opportunities, although the stake is enormous on this one. According to bookies and sportsbooks, Real Madrid is a clear favorite to lift the trophy, but the Reds are a quite tricky opponent, and if their defensive work is on a high level, everything is possible in this Final, particularly as Real’s defense was pretty fragile throughout the season.
I’m backing the goals here, as it would be a huge surprise if this clash has less than three goals in the total, while I think Los Blancos are closer to the title because of their experience in big games like this one.
MY PICK: Over 3 Goals (-130)
WINNER: Real Madrid
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