Real Madrid v Liverpool – NSC Olimpiyskiy at 14:45
Champions League Final
One of the season’s showcase events is upon us as Liverpool meet Real Madrid in the Champions League Final.
The road to the final
After progressing from a difficult group containing Dortmund and Spurs, as well as APOEL, Real Madrid have beaten three domestic champions en route to the final in PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich.
Liverpool, on the other hand, may have had a slightly easier road to the final, but have performed way above expectations. Topping a group containing Sevilla, Spartak Moscow, and Maribor, Liverpool have beaten Porto, Manchester City and AS Roma on their way to Kiev.
If there’s one thing to expect in the final, it’s goals. Liverpool have been this season’s top goalscorers, with 40 goals scored in this year’s tournament.
Likewise, Real Madrid have found the net plenty of times in this year’s tournament. Los Blancos have scored 30 goals in this year’s competition.
The Key Battles
All of the build-up to the final on Saturday has been around the comparisons between Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both players are key players in their side’s systems, but it would be silly to ignore the other key battles across the pitch.
Roberto Firmino v Sergio Ramos will be a key battle, with the Brazilian instrumental to the way that Jurgen Klopp’s side operate. The False 9 will drop deep and drift from his position and will hope to pull Ramos, or his defensive partner Raphael Varane out of position. With the attacking full-backs of Marcelo and Dani Carvajal likely to push forward, it could create an abundance of space for Salah and fellow wide man Sadio Mane.
The battle in the centre of the park will equally be as important. In Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, Real Madrid have two of Europe’s best possession-orientated midfielders. They will be vital in Madrid’s build-up play. How Jordan Henderson and James Milner deal with them will be key to how Liverpool fare.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Liverpool 0.25 at 2.730