Champions League Finals Preview - Liverpool vs Real Madrid

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Por Jonathan Willis
BETCRIS Champions League Liverpool vs Real Madrid final

Not many people expected Liverpool to make it all the way to the Champions League Finals. Liverpool was out of all European competitions just a couple years ago, but things turned around once Jurgen Klopp assumed the role of manager. Klopp has this team back in the top four in the Premier League, and now he has them on the cusp of winning their eighth Champions League title.

The last team standing in their way are Real Madrid. Real Madrid are the most decorated team in Champions League history. Los Blancos have won 12 Champions League titles and are also winners of three of the last four Champions Leagues.

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Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Date and Time: May 26, 2018, 2:45 p.m. ET

Location: NSC Olimpiyskiy, Kyiv, Ukraine

Television Coverage: FOX

Betting Line: Real Madrid PK and -0.5, O/U 3 and 3.5

How they got here

Real Madrid has had one of the toughest runs imaginable in order to get here. They were placed in a group with Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund and ended up finishing second. That meant they were placed against a group winner and they drew one of the toughest ones in Paris Saint-Germain. Real were able to get past the Ligue 1 champions, but then had to face two other domestic league winners in Juventus and Bayern Munich. The latter two clubs nearly came from behind to beat Real Madrid.

It’s been an easier run for Liverpool, but they did have to make it through the play-in stage in the first place. The Reds had a relatively easy group to get through with the only real competition coming from Sevilla, and they had a nice draw in the knockout round. Liverpool easily took care of Porto before surprising Premier League winners Manchester City. In the semifinals, AS Roma nearly matched their stunning comeback from the week prior.

Injury report

The injury list for Real Madrid is pretty shallow. Los Blancos have had a few players that have been banged up in recent weeks. However, they are largely healthy heading into this one. Cristiano Ronaldo and Keylor Navas had been held out of recent matches, yet manager Zinedine Zidane has said that both will be match fit. Dani Carvajal and Isco have both been hurt too. Both are expected to play, but neither player is fully healthy.

Liverpool are not going to have some key players for this one. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez are both long-term injuries and Joel Matip has been ruled out as well. However, there is good news when it comes to two others. Emre Can and James Milner are back in training with the club, and each player is expected to be back in the starting lineup for the final. Milner and Can are both hard-nosed defensive midfielders who can help thwart the Real attack.

What to watch for

This could be one of the highest scoring Champions League finals we have seen in some time. Liverpool and Real Madrid have two of the best offenses in the world and each side has been pouring in the goals during Champions League play. Mo Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo have been incredible this season, and each player is in contention for the Ballon d’Or. Neither manager is going to play too conservative, so we should have a very exciting final.

Champions League Finals Free Picks

The over is a great bet in this one. Neither team is particularly solid at the back, while the offenses are elite. There should be plenty of goal scoring chances, and that should lead to the over cashing.

With regards to a side, Liverpool are a good bet at this price. Klopp is a brilliant tactician, and he will have his club ready to attack Real at the weak spots.

Champions League Finals Prediction: Liverpool 3, Real Madrid 2

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