There's no major tournament in the football world to get stuck into over summer 2017, so the Champions League Final is an enticing culmination to the European season when it comes to online betting. With only the semi-final second leg games to be played before two teams line up at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday 3 June, here's an insightful betting preview to guide you through the decisive matches on 9 and 10 May and through to the final!
First Leg Score: Monaco 0 - Juventus 2
Having secured a first leg 2-0 win in the away semi match, Juventus are massive favourites to qualify for the final, at odds of 1/33 (with Monaco around odds of 9/1). On the face of it, it looks an impossible task for the French outfit to overturn Juve, who also have two precious away goals. Juventus at home are a frightening prospect for any team daring to look at the statistics, with a 100% win ratio in the league this season.
In truth, the Old Ladies' European form is pretty depressing for Monaco too – Sevilla and Lyon managed to hold them to a draw in the Group stage matches, but when fully wound up they put Barcelona to the sword and have remained undefeated in both home and away matches.
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So what about the leg in terms of football betting value? Is there any value at all in backing Monaco to cause a shock and qualify at 9/1, or win the second leg semi-final at 9/2? Firstly, Monaco have claimed a lot of plaudits for a young side of immense talent and attacking flair. They have nothing to lose and are a very talented outfit – they're currently top of Ligue 1 ahead of mega-money PSG.
They've also picked up some impressive Champions League results against big sides, including beating Tottenham 2-1 away, then losing 5-3 to Manchester City away, but overturning the deficit to qualify for the next round with a 3-1 victory. They also put Dortmund to the sword, winning 3-2 away and 3-1 at home.
Juventus will be happy to shut up shop and keep things ultra-tight, while Monaco have nothing to lose and will have to attack from the off to stand a chance of getting back into the tie. One goal is dangerous for Monaco and a first half strike will make this game very interesting – with players like 18 year old Kylian Mbappé they are capable of getting one; this makes an outside punt on Monaco to qualify at odds of 9/1 an intriguing football bet.
First Leg Score: Real Madrid 3 - Athletico Madrid 0
Christiano Rolando's hat trick has in all probability put this Madrid derby out to pasture before the second leg has even kicked off. Although Athletico sit third in La Liga, only one place below Real, the ten-point difference shows the gulf in class between the two sides. Furthermore, Athletico's results against Real suggest a very slim hope of qualifying for the Champions League Final.
They've lost 3-0 twice and drew the other match 1-1. In terms of football betting value, Athletico's odds of 13/8 to win the game don't look an enticing tip, and in terms of qualification, there's more chance of a Ronaldo hat trick than them going through!
Athletico Madrid lack the flair to overturn a 3-0 deficit against Real Madrid, making their 70-1 odds to win the Champions League unappealing. If there's to be a massive shock, then it's more likely to be Monaco at 66-1. Sure, they have an Italian mountain to climb, but they do have the attacking flair that, on its day, can change any match.
The chances are that Real Madrid or Juventus will lift the cup in Cardiff on 3 June – with odds of 11/13 for Madrid and 23/30 for Juventus. The odds are in some respects against Real Madrid, with them bidding to become the first side to retain the cup, but then doesn't Christiano Ronaldo have a habit of breaking records?
Alternatively, going with this stat would seem to point to betting on Juventus to lift the 2017 Champions League trophy. For all those punters keen on Champions League betting year round, check out Ladbrokes Sports today and see their extensive coverage of the CL market!