Champions League Betting Tips: Our Picks For Liverpool vs. Real Madrid
Mohamed Salah got his wish in the end. After his side’s 3-2 victory over Villarreal, the Liverpool forward said he would rather face Real Madrid than Manchester City in the Champions League final.
An incredible comeback — which betting sites didn’t see coming — by Carlo Ancelotti’s side at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in their semifinal sent Madrid through to the Paris showpiece in the most dramatic fashion possible.
U.S. bookmakers have Liverpool as strong favorites, yet neither Jurgen Klopp nor Ancelotti will expect an easy game.
Liverpool is a six-time European champion, and Madrid has won 13 times. It should make for an exciting match.
Liverpool Still In The Hunt For An Unprecedented Triple
Whatever happens from here, Liverpool has made history this season. No other English team has reached the final of the Champions League, the FA Cup and the League Cup in the same season.
The Reds brought the Premier League title race down to the final minutes, but a stellar comeback from Man City blocked their quadruple dream.
Still, the League Cup and FA Cup are already safely in the trophy cabinet, and one more piece of hardware is still possible.
This third title would be an outstanding achievement, and it would draw parallels to Manchester United’s three championships of 1998/99 — with the League Cup subbed in for the Premier League.
There is still one hurdle in the way. Klopp’s side still has to face the La Liga winners in the Champions League final.
Liverpool has not had the toughest path to Paris. It eliminated an out-of-form Inter in the round of 16, before knocking out Benfica in the last eight.
The Reds did not have everything going their way against Villarreal in the semi-finals — at halftime of the second leg, the aggregate score was level — but the Yellow Submarine was patently the weakest team left in the competition.
Still, it is difficult to argue against the contention that Liverpool is one of the two strongest sides in Europe right now. If anything, it has improved as the season progressed.
Klopp’s team is peaking at the right time, and they now have the squad depth to compete on several fronts. The Reds deserve to be favorites on soccer betting sites at the Stade de France.
Real Madrid Feels It Has Destiny On Its Side
In each of the knockout round ties, Real Madrid has been on the brink of elimination. For four-fifths of the last-16 clash with Paris Saint-Germain, Ancelotti’s team was second best.
Yet a 30-minute flurry — admittedly aided by PSG’s extraordinary mental collapse — saw Karim Benzema score three times to turn the contest on its head.
Madrid was in position to advance at the midway point of the quarter-final against Chelsea.
But at the Bernabeu, the Blues overturned a 3-1 deficit from the first leg, as goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner gave them an aggregate advantage with 15 minutes left in regulation. Once again, though, Madrid found a way to turn the game in its favor.
The Spanish champions saved their most astonishing comeback for the semifinals. Manchester City led for 178 of the 180 minutes of the tie, but Rodrygo’s late double in the second leg forced extra time, from where there was only ever going to be one winner.
There is something about Madrid and this competition. It is possible to argue that each of PSG, Chelsea and City played better than los Blancos over two legs, yet Ancelotti’s charges found a way to get past all of them.
Madrid probably feels it has destiny on its side. The contrasting endings to the season at the top of La Liga and the Premier League might also work in its favor.
Real wrapped up the title in Spain with ease, but it failed to make the Copa del Rey final, meaning it hasn't played since May 20.
Liverpool, by contrast, had five huge fixtures before May 28, as it sought to win the FA Cup (successfully) and the Premier League (unsuccessfully) before turning its attention back to Europe.
In One-Off Game Liverpool Could Have The Advantage
If you are looking at Champions League betting offers, it is not too difficult to predict how the final will play out.
We can expect Liverpool to start quickly and control possession, looking to regain it quickly whenever it changes hands.
Madrid, on the other hand, will be content to stand off Liverpool in the early stages and wait for the right moments to strike.
It has the ability to stay in games and then come to life when needed. That is what makes it such a dangerous opponent.
Liverpool has scored the first goal in nine of its 12 Champions League games, while Madrid fell behind in all but one of its six knockout matches.
At +115 with BetMGM Sportsbook, it is worth backing a draw in the first-half handicap market, which is essentially equivalent to putting money on Liverpool holding a one-goal lead at the interval.
Ultimately, this could be a bridge too far for Madrid. It will not be able to rely on the Bernabeu this time. And although the Spanish team will have had more time to prepare than Liverpool, it will struggle to live with Klopp’s pressing machine.
The Reds, who are available at a +105 in 90 minutes with DraftKings Sportsbook, can win their seventh European crown in Paris — the city in which they won their third, in 1981, with a 1-0 triumph over Real Madrid.
Do not expect Madrid to give up without a fight, though. It possesses plenty of firepower through the likes of Benzema, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior, so over 2.5 goals and both teams to score looks like good value at -110 with FanDuel Sportsbook.
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