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UEFA Champions League: Will Zidane’s Real Madrid win for the 3rd time in a row?

17:18 BST 24/05/2018
Zinedine Zidane Cristiano Ronaldo
Los Blancos have won the last two editions of the championship, and will they be third time lucky against Jurgen Klopp’s men?

This coming Saturday evening (26 May) the biggest prize in club football will be up for grabs, as Liverpool and Real Madrid lock horns in Kiev, Ukraine in the final of the UEFA Champions League, a game you can bet on at Oddsshark.com. The encounter has the makings of a classic as these are two teams who are known for playing fearless, free-flowing football.

In addition to the playing style of Liverpool and Real, the English and Spanish clubs have been two of the most successful in the history of the European Cup and it should make for some intriguing soccer bets. Liverpool last won the crown back in 2005, well over 10 years ago and have not been dining at the top table of continental football for some time now.

In stark contrast, the Spanish giants are the most in-form team over the last few seasons in Europe. Real Madrid have won three of the last four editions of the Champions League and are looking to make it three wins in a row, an achievement which is unprecedented in the modern era.

However, on their day Liverpool have proven that they are more than capable of stopping their opponents in the final. Under the stewardship of German boss Jurgen Klopp, the Anfield Road outfit have been competing and defeating the very best this season, and victory in Ukraine this weekend would announce their return to the elite of the Old Continent.

Real’s domestic form, however, has been far below par for a club of their magnitude. Zinedine Zidane and his team could only muster a third-placed finish, ending the season a massive 17 points behind champions Barcelona.

In addition, the side from the Spanish capital conceded at a rate of comfortably over a goal a game, and in all honesty neither Real nor Liverpool are renowned for rigid defensive back lines. One thing that this game should have is goals, and furthermore there should be plenty of them, with Real priced at 1.44 and Liverpool at 2.62 to find the back of the net.

These two clubs have met on just four occasions previously in Europe’s premier club competition and there is nothing to separate the English side from their Spanish rivals. Both clubs have won two matches each and all indications are that this one could go right down to the wire on Saturday night, with extra time and penalties more than a distinct possibility.

The way Liverpool will set up on Saturday is hardly a surprise. Klopp has said previously that he likes to play heavy metal football and his side will throw everything they have at a creaking and gaping Real Madrid back four.

Liverpool have scored a whopping 46 goals in the Champions League so far this season, including putting five past both FC Porto and Roma in 90 minutes. That is despite losing coveted Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who jumped ship for Barcelona during the January transfer window, but the club’s three-pronged attack has assumed the responsibility with aplomb.

Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané have scored a barely believable 90 goals between them this season, and they are probably the most dangerous offensive unit in European club football at present. That includes Real’s feared “BBC” attack of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Admittedly, Liverpool come into this clash as slight underdogs, given Real Madrid’s strength in depth and recent pedigree in the continental competition. However, the last few months have given ample proof that Liverpool are more than capable of overcoming the most talented of opponents and there will be several backing them this weekend to do just that.

And while this game is likely to be entertaining between two hugely talented teams, given the magnitude of this encounter it may well have a slow start. Finals can be akin to a game of chess and as the match enters its second half it may well open up further, meaning there should be more goals after the interval rather than before.

Liverpool have been one of the most consistent teams in European competition over recent months, and have lost a solitary encounter in the Champions League this season. That reverse did come however in their most recent outing, the semi-final second leg away to Roma when they went down 4-2 despite holding both 1-0 and 2-1 leads during the first half – the vulnerability of Liverpool’s back line is without doubt Klopp’s biggest concern.

To conclude the campaign in Europe, this looks to be a hell of a tie to sign off the season in style between two teams who play football the right way. Liverpool beat runaway Premier League champions Manchester City three times in a row this past season, and there will be plenty backing them to cause an upset against Real Madrid this weekend as well, with Liverpool priced at 3.05 to lift the crown, according to Oddsshark.com.

2017/2018 Champions League Final – Odds provided by Oddsshark

(2.20) Real Madrid x Liverpool FC (3.05); Draw (3.60)