Two of the biggest and most successful clubs in history lock horns in the Champions League final. Can Liverpool continue their goal scoring spree of with Real Madrid claim European glory for the third consecutive season…
|Match (AEST)||Champions League Tips|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool
|Best: Over 3.5 goals ($2.15)
Value: Real Madrid Over 2.5 goals ($3.30)
Correct Score: Real Madrid 4-2 ($41.00)
Real Madrid v Liverpool
It promises to be a final of epic proportions and it can reach the anticipated hype, we are in store for one of the greatest games in Champions League history!
Real Madrid are the two-time defending champions and 12 time winners of this competition. They have made 15 finals and are 6-0 in their last 6. They are the most dominant side in the history of European football and have the most prolific scorer that this competition has seen. Liverpool are no strangers to overcoming adversity. Five time winners, their latest title came in 2005 when they managed to overcome a 3-0 deficit! The two clubs have a combined 17 UCL titles from 22 finals. They are also the owners of the two best winning percentages in finals for sides that have contested for the title at least three time. Something will have to give…
Ronaldo v Salah
Let’s cut to the chase as they are the two names on everybody’s tongue!
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 120 goals in the Champions League, more than any other player in history. That includes 15 goals this season! He has topped the scorers chart for the last 5 seasons and has been unstoppable. What is even more impressive is that 60 if his goals have come in the knockout stages. Ronaldo is a goal scoring machine!
That is a throne that Salah has definitely challenged for this season. He has had a season to remember after breaking the EPL record for most goals in a season. The Egyptian has been compared to Messi with his silky left foot and cheeky finishes, but unlike Ronaldo he comes as part of a package – the Liverpool front three.
Goals, Goals, Goals
The Reds have scored 40 goals in this year’s competition – 10 more than the next best. Salah, Firmino and Mane have combined for 29 goals while James Milner has a competition high 9 assists. They have scored multiple goals in 12 of their 14 matches and have made quality opponents chase shadows. There was a perception that they could not continue their phenomenal goal scoring in the knockout stages… That certainly hasn’t been the case. They put 5 past Man City in the quarters before netting 7 goals in 180 minutes against Roma, who were until that point the best defensive side in the competition.
The Wolf cannot help but get excited when two attacking sides meet and says neither will be taking a back seat! Real Madrid definitely have an edge in the middle of the park with Kroos, Modric and Casemiro. Take nothing away from Henderson and Milner but they will have to have the game of their lives. We have seen them consistently gain possession in midfield and successfully releasing the most dangerous trio in world football on the counter. This will be important for more than one reason and it is not limited to scoring goals…
Give Me Wings So I Can Fly…
Marcelo and Carvajal are two of the key components in the Real Madrid attack. It doesn’t matter who they face or a marked up with – they ALWAYS find a way to get forward. If Liverpool are to keep their attacking trio up high, Henderson and Milner will have to help defend the flanking runs. It also places heightened pressure on Alexander-Arnold and Robertson. They have shown nerves of steel to date but this is another level. This is an area where Real Madrid have a distinct edge and there is no doubt that they will look to capitalise on it.
Passing v Pressing
Liverpool have a definite edge in pace and will look to utilise it, while Real Madrid will rely on their passing and ability to work the ball out of tight spaces. Madrid have 6 players with multiple assists in the competition while Liverpool have 8. It’s a classic case of passing versus pressing. The Reds front three with look to press as they have done all season long but if they get it wrong there will be spaces for Ronaldo and Isco to run riot. Real have shown that they can not only handle pressure, but play through it.
He is the forgotten man but Gareth Bale may well be the trump card that catches out the Reds defence. We have seen very little of him this season due to injury but he has started in Madrid’s last two games and produced 3 goals. He scored a pivotal goal in extra time of the 2014 final and will relish playing against an English opponent.
Who Will Lift The Trophy?
Liverpool have been a joy to watch over the last 9 months and there is no doubt that the squad believe in Jurgen Klopp. That being said, The Wolf cannot look past Real Madrid. They haven proven themselves time and time again in this competition. Three titles in the last four seasons with the majority of the playing squad taking part in many of those successes. This is foreign territory for Liverpool and if things go wrong early, The Wolf doesn’t think they will find the answers they need to come back. There will be goals galore and with the greatest scorer in the history of the Champions League spearheading their attack. Real Madrid will with their 3rd consecutive Champions League title.