CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL: The Ultra previews Saturday’s mouthwatering Champions League Final between LIVERPOOL v REAL MADRID with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats.
LIVERPOOL V REAL MADRID
8pm After what has been a wonderful season in the Champions League, we have a fitting final on Saturday night as Liverpool and Real Madrid clash in Paris. The Stade de France will be rocking as two European giants meet again, and we’re sure to have an excellent game to enjoy on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. Both sides have had incredible seasons, and come into the final in top form. Liverpool are the favourites, but we all know Real Madrid have been seemingly unbeatable in the Champions League this season! They have produced some remarkable comebacks from incredible positions, but is their luck going to run out in the Final?
The odds at the time of writing currently trade; Liverpool 2.12, Real Madrid 3.65 and the draw is 3.8. Both sides have been involved in some real goal fests in the Champions League this season so it’s easy to understand why over 2.5 goals is trading odds on. Over 2.5 goals is 1.78 while if you fancy a cagey European final then under 2.5 goals is 2.24. When you look at the teams on paper and what type of football they have played this season, it’s hard to see how we’re going to not have plenty of drama and goals here. Even when both sides have looked in control of games, they have let the other side in. Just look at Real Madrid with a two goal lead against Chelsea and then Liverpool with a two goal lead against Villarreal.
Remember a few seasons ago “bouncebackability” was a big buzzword in football. Well, these two have been incredible at that. Let’s just look at what Real Madrid have been through this year. I used the word luck above, which is terms that suggests that they don’t deserve to be here. That isn’t the case, it’s just “lucky” they have managed to get out of all these situations within the one season. It’s been remarkable. Firstly, they found themselves 2-0 down on aggregate to PSG with 30 minutes to go in the Last 16 – cue a Benzema hat-trick. Then after beating Chelsea 3-1 away from home in the first leg, they found themselves 3-0 down in the second leg with 15 minutes to go – they managed to find a goal and then Benzema won it in extra time. Then came the comeback to top all comebacks, they found themselves 2-0 down on aggregate to Manchester City in the 90th minute. They scored twice before the final whistle and you guessed it, Benzema won it for them in extra time. I mean what do you say to that journey here. Absolutely incredible. If it was a football movie it would be criticised for not being realistic!
Liverpool’s run wasn’t without drama either. They had a nervous night at Anfield after taking a 2-0 lead into the second leg against Inter Milan. Inter had a one goal lead in that game, but a man sent off meant Liverpool could hang on for a 2-1 win on aggregate. They bossed the Benfica tie, although they threw away a 3-1 lead in the last 20 minutes in the second leg. Then after winning the first leg of the Semi-Final 2-0 against Villarreal, they found themselves 2-0 down at half-time in the second leg away from home. It looked like Villarreal had all the momentum too with home advantage, but not only did Liverpool turn it around to get through, they actually won the second leg 3-2! Again, remarkable scenes. Imagine how much you would have made backing these two sides in-play this season?
Hopefully we get a Final that does these two sides justice after an incredible season. If we stand back from all the drama this season, Liverpool do stand out as the better side here and they are rightly favourites in my opinion. They have been incredible all season – they’ve done the domestic Cup double and pushed Manchester City all the way in the Premier League. A remarkable stat I seen this week was; Liverpool have lost just three games over the 2018/19 and 2021/22 seasons and lost the Premier League titles to Manchester City. That’s an incredible standard. Real Madrid were impressive in La Liga this season, but the others really dropped their standard. Barcelona were poor after Messi had to leave, and Atletico Madrid were well off the pace this season. The big question here is, how do Real Madrid stop Liverpool from scoring?
The standard in the Premier League is growing every year, and Liverpool created an average xG of 2.5 per game this year. Not only that, but they only conceded an xG of 0.9. In La Liga, Real Madrid finished the season with an average xG of 2.2 and they conceded an xG of 1.3. They actually only conceded 0.8 goals per game, so they have “got away” with conceding some chances. They can’t afford to make any mistakes in this one.
I feel the match odds market looks pretty bang on here. I agree with the market that Liverpool should be the favourites, but it’s hard to make a big case for them being odds on. That would be a little short, and I feel there isn’t much value in the match odds market. The prices look correct to me, and when the price feels right there’s no value, and thus no bet. Where I do see value however is the goals market. I expected over 2.5 goals to be much shorter than its current 1.78. Both sides have had a lot of drama in the Champions League this season, and that’s mainly because when they are up against the ropes they attack. This has worked out superbly for Real Madrid this season, but they can easily play into Liverpool’s hands here who are so good on the counter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 2-2 or 3-2 score line here, with an early goal opening up the game a lot. I just can’t see a very cagey game here between two sides who love to attack, and we should have a very entertaining Champions League Final.
The Ultra Says:
Three points win Over 2.5 goals at 1.78 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/LivRea
● This will be the ninth meeting between Liverpool and Real Madrid in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League – after winning the first three between 1981 and 2009, the Reds are winless in the last five (D1 L4), including a defeat in the final in 2018.
● Liverpool and Real Madrid will meet for the third time in the final of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League, the most between two clubs across the history of the two competitions. Liverpool won the first final back in 1981 (1-0), before Real Madrid beat Jürgen Klopp’s side 3-1 in 2018.
● Liverpool are looking to win the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for the seventh time in their history – a victory in Paris would take them level with AC Milan (7), and leave them only behind opponents Real Madrid (13) for the most overall victories across the two competitions.
● Real Madrid are aiming to win the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for the 14th time, which would then be twice as many as any other team (7, AC Milan). Los Blancos have lifted the trophy on each of the last seven occasions when they have appeared in the final, with their last defeat in the showpiece coming against Liverpool back in 1981 – a game that was also played in Paris thanks to an Alan Kennedy winner.
● Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has faced Real Madrid more times than any other opponent in the UEFA Champions League (9), winning just three of those matches (D2 L4). Among teams he has faced at least three times in the competition, against no other opponent does Klopp have a lower win percentage (33%).
● Carlo Ancelotti is looking to win the UEFA Champions League for the fourth time; the most by any manager in the competition’s history (after 2002-03 & 2006-07 with AC Milan, and 2013-14 with current club Real Madrid). Ancelotti has lifted the trophy in three of his previous four UEFA Champions League finals, only failing to do so against Liverpool in 2004-05 with AC Milan (lost 2-3 on penalties).
● Liverpool have allowed fewer opposition sequences of 10+ uninterrupted passes per game than any other team in the UEFA Champions League this season (4.1). Furthermore, only Ajax (7.4) – who were eliminated in the last 16 – allowed fewer opposition passes per defensive action than Liverpool (8.5) this term.
● Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has scored 33 goals under Jürgen Klopp in the UEFA Champions League; only three players have ever netted more while playing under a single manager in the competition’s history – Lionel Messi under Pep Guardiola (43), Ruud van Nistelrooy under Sir Alex Ferguson (35) and Thierry Henry under Arsène Wenger (35).
● Real Madrid have five different players in their squad with 100+ UEFA Champions League appearances (Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Marcelo and David Alaba) – they could become the first team to name a starting XI for a final with four or more different players having made a century of appearances in the competition. The current-most is three, which was also by Real Madrid in the 2018 final (Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos).
● Jordan Henderson could make his 50th UEFA Champions League appearance for Liverpool (currently on 49), which would see him join Jamie Carragher (80), Steven Gerrard (73) and Phil Neal (57) as the only English players to reach 50 games for the Reds in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League.
● Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who will be 34 years and 160 days old on the day of the game, would be second-oldest player to score in a UEFA Champions League final, after Paolo Maldini for AC Milan in 2005 (36y 333d, also v Liverpool). Benzema opened the scoring in a 3-1 win the last time these two teams faced in the final of the competition, back in 2018.
● Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Mohamed Salah has scored 33 goals and made 11 assists for Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League – only Robert Lewandowski (55) and Kylian Mbappé (47) have been directly involved in more goals. In this period, Salah is one of only two players with 30+ goals and 10+ assists in the competition, along with Lionel Messi.
● Karim Benzema has scored 15 goals for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League this season, just two behind the all-time record in a single European Cup/UEFA Champions League campaign (17, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013-14). If he scores in this game, Benzema would also become the outright third top scorer in the history of the two competitions (currently level with Robert Lewandowski on 86), behind Cristiano Ronaldo (140) and Lionel Messi (125).
● Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold could make his third appearance in a UEFA Champions League final. Aged 23 years and 233 days on the day of this year’s final, he would be the second-youngest player in the competition’s history to play in three finals, after Alessandro Del Piero in 1998 (23y 192d), while the right-back could be the youngest to start three such finals, surpassing Thomas Müller (23y 254d).
● Real Madrid winger Vinícius Júnior has been directly involved in nine goals in the UEFA Champions League this season (three goals, six assists) – the last South American player to be directly involved in 10+ in a single campaign in the competition while 21 or under was Lionel Messi in 2008-09 (14 – nine goals, five assists).