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Champions League Final 2018

Real Madrid go in search of a third consecutive Champions League crow in Kiev on Saturday evening, while Liverpool will be looking to add to their tally of five European cups.

Two players have featured extensively this season for their clubs and it’ll be Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah, who will be looking to clinch the headlines following another world-class display.


Key Real Madrid Stats:

Real Madrid have kept only one clean sheet in their last 11 games in all competitions but have managed to record three in 12 UCL games, albeit two of those coming against APOEL.

Madrid have scored 30 goals in this season’s UCL and have conceded 15.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 15 goals in this season’s Champions League – five more than any other player.

Ronaldo has had 33 shots on target during the competition, which is a tournament high.

 

Key Liverpool Stats:

Liverpool are the top scorers in this season’s competition with 40 goals.

Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino both have ten goals, while Sadio Mane has nine – only Ronaldo has more.

James Milner set a Champions League record in the semi-final with his assist giving him nine for the competition.

The Reds have kept 11 clean sheets in their last 20 matches in all competitions and have managed to keep six clean sheets in this season’s UCL.


Referee & Discipline:

Serbian Milorad Mazic takes charge of the showpiece final and this will be his tenth FIFA/UEFA appointment of the season.

It’ll be his first involving either side but he did take charge of Real Madrid’s Super Cup win at the beginning of last season when cautioning Daniel Carvajal and Marco Asensio.

This season’s nine matches have seen 27 yellows and one red but it was his last assignment in the Europa League Quarter-Final Second Leg between Sporting Lisbon and Atletico Madrid that saw him dish out the most cards (six yellows).

Both Liverpool and Real Madrid have picked up 21 cautions in this season’s competitions but the Reds have also had a man sent-off unlike their Spanish counterparts.

Emre Can, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Carvajal all have picked up four yellows so far while Sergio Ramos and Trent Alexander-Arnold are both on three for their respective sides.


BETTING ANGLES: 

Here are a few markets where I’ll be concentrating for the match and here are some suggestions from those markets:

 

GOALS:

Everyone is expecting an open and entertaining game filled with goals and given what we know of both sides then that is highly likely.

The fact Real Madrid were able to put four past Juventus in last season’s final shows they are extremely likely to bag at least twice here.

Over 3.5 Goals (11/10) does look a strong play with the players we have on the pitch and the chances they carve out for themselves and teammates.

Not only last but both teams have bagged in the last seven finals, so with BTTS a highly likely candidate then it’s worth taking a couple more goals, especially with BTTS & O2.5 Goals (4/6) looking nailed on.

 

GOALSCORER:

Everyone is talking about Ronaldo, Salah and Firmino for the goals but don’t forget that Karim Benzema (23/10 – Anytime) netted three of Real Madrid’s four goals when these sides last met in the Champions League back in 2014.

The Frenchman can be underwhelming in his performances but his two goals made sure of the progression in the second leg of their Semi-Final tie against Bayern Munich.

 

CORRECT SCORE:

I’m putting my neck out here by doing this sort of market but I do expect this to be a bit like a basketball match of end-to-end.

I’d be looking towards the Real Madrid 3-1 (16/1) or Real Madrid 3-2 (20/1) for interest in this market because the Spaniards have that know-how in major finals, as they’ve proved in the last two seasons, plus Liverpool can be shaky at the back.

 

BOOKINGS:

The usual suspects that have picked up the cards this season top the betting to see a caution, or even a red.

But I’m thinking more tactically about this.

Liverpool will look to get in between the lines and have pace on the break, so that could lead to a cynical foul from a defensive midfielder if the wrong side.

Luka Modrić (5/1) isn’t the dirtiest player in the world but he knows when to commit a tactical foul to help out his team. He’s got two yellows in this competition so far.

If this is tight and a single goal separates the sides then the goalkeepers could look to waste a bit of time too.

Karius (10/1) and Navas (12/1) are both worth a look pre-match, but they are ones I’d be looking at in-play when we know the shape of the game and whether there will be any need to run down the clock

 

#YourOdds & Request-A-Bets:

One of the more fancied #YourOdds with William Hill was this – BTTS, Over 2 Goals & Over 10 Corners (17/10).

I’ve explained the goals but these two are both decent for corners, so would expect them to rack up throughout the game.

Daniel Carvajal & Trent Alexander-Arnold Both Carded (13/2) under #YourOdds and I’ve compared that to the Bet365 Bet Builder, which is generally a bigger price, however that only came out at 11/2, so it’s worth a go with Hills.

A Request-A-Bet to look at is this – Ronaldo & Salah to Score, Ramos & Carvajal to be carded (16/1).

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