Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
|Date & Time||Saturday May 26, 2018, 2:45 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Liverpool +217 / Madrid +128 / Draw +278 -- Over/Under: 3
Real Madrid and Liverpool meet Saturday in the UEFA Champions League Final at Kiev Olympic Stadium.
Real Madrid is making a habit of reaching the final, as they have a chance to produce their sixth title since 2000 and Zinedine Zidane has a chance to become the first coach to win three European Cups in a row. Real Madrid has been here done that more than any other team in the league and that experience should pay off in a big way. Guys know what it takes to win a monster game like this and they won’t get too high or too low regardless of how the first 15 minutes or so play out and the jitters are gone. Real Madrid has a terrific attacking offense led by Cristiano Ronaldo, who has simply been on a tear lately, and will have even more motivation for this match given his former Manchester United days. Gareth Bale is the other double-digit scorer for Real Madrid, and he comes into this match hot, scoring five goals in four La Liga matches. When Real Madrid is on this relentless offensive push and controlling the pace, they’re as tough a team to slowdown and can turn a match around as quickly as anyone.
Liverpool looks for its first title since 2005 and doesn’t have a single player on its roster with UEFA Champions League Final experience. That could be a good or bad thing, as the moment could certainly be too big for them, or it will allow them to play loose and maybe carefree. Either way, you’d like some experienced players who can calm players down if the team fails to get off to a slow start. Regardless, Liverpool has a fighting chance against anybody with a trio of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Mane leading the way. That trio combined for 57 goals and makes for the most explosive offense in the league when its on the attack. Salah is the engine that makes Liverpool go, and if he shows up in this match, history will be made for the Reds. We know what Liverpool is capable of offensively, but the key for them to win could be the recently improved defense since landing Virgil van Dijk earlier this year.
These teams have split the previous four meetings with Real Madrid winning the most recent match, 1-0, back in November of 2014. The last time Liverpool beat Real Madrid was in March of 2009.
You can make a case for either side, as both of these teams are explosive offensively, led by some of the top players in the world and are constantly looking to attack. Real Madrid is obviously the safe bet due to the experience. It’s a huge feather in your cap when you’ve been in these big matches time and time again and know ho to react to the moment. However, I’m siding with Liverpool in the upset. This is a match that favors Liverpool’s aggressive style and they’re sure to catch Real Madrid in some counter opportunities. I also have a hard time betting against Salah in his current form. When he plays well, good things happen for Liverpool.
I’m siding with Liverpool for the victory at +130, which includes extra time and shootouts.