With the domestic campaign in the rear-view mirror, football bettors can turn their attention to the final game of the season: the Champions League final.
2019 Champions League winners Liverpool will take on Real Madrid, who have won four UCL titles since the 2013/14 season, at the Stade de France. This will be a repeat of the 2018 Champions League final in which Real won the European title for the third straight year after beating Liverpool 3-1.
However, betting markets rate Liverpool as favorites to win this year’s competition – the Reds are a -185 favorite to lift the trophy and are +110 for the 90 minutes.
Before we place your bets, let’s break down each side’s performance so far and their prospects ahead of Saturday’s final.
Liverpool reached the final with relative ease
Coach Jürgen Klopp’s side met little resistance on their way to the Champions League final. The six-time European champions used strong performances in the first legs – 2-0 against Inter, 3-1 against Benfica and 2-0 against Villarreal – to all but guarantee promotion. Also, Liverpool posted strong underlying metrics in the knockout stage and are entering the final as a candidate for positive regression.
In their six knockout games, Liverpool recorded a +6 goal difference but had an expected goal difference of +7.5 in those games.
What’s more, Liverpool’s defense has been rock solid in their last six UCL games. Since the opening game against Inter Milan, Liverpool have kept all but one opponent under an expected goal and three of six opponents under 0.4 expected goals, according to fbref.com.
Liverpool have conceded just 0.68 expected goals per 90 minutes in their six knockout stage matches, versus 1.95 expected goals per 90 minutes on offense. Even excluding the two Benfica games, Liverpool’s offensive performance drops to just 1.53 xG/90 minutes.
Luck has come in abundance for Real Madrid
Some might call Real Madrid a potential ‘team of destiny’ but I prefer to call it what it actually is – luck.
Real’s underlying metrics are quite concerning and qualify it as a potential candidate for negative regression. Considering their six knockout stages matches – excluding extra time against Chelsea and Manchester City – Real have recorded a +1 goal difference against an expected goal difference of -1.5.
If you add in the two group stage games against Inter Milan, the discrepancy becomes even bigger. In those eight games, Real have recorded a +3 goal difference against an expected goal difference of -2.7, according to fbref.com.
Most of Real Madrid’s underlying problems can be traced to its defense, which has managed 1.81 expected goals per 90 minutes in their six knockout stage games (including extra time) and at least 1 in three straight games. conceded 5 expected goals.
However, his attack has generated decent scoring chances. In the last five UCL games, Real’s offensive has generated 1.76 xG/90 minutes. Also, only one opponent has kept it below 1.5 expected goals.
For the above reasons, I would play Liverpool to -145 in regular time as I projected it to -160. While I doubt it will dip that low, I would play the reds down to -165 to lift the trophy since I’ve projected them to -190 in this market.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/23/uefa-champions-league-final-how-to-bet-liverpool-vs-real-madrid/ How to bet Liverpool vs Real Madrid