| Wed 23/05/2018 - 06:42 EDT

Real Madrid vs Liverpool UCL Final Odds, Picks, Starting Lineups

Real Madrid vs Liverpool UCL Final Odds, Picks, Starting Lineups

Real Madrid vs Liverpool Odds

My Team's Next MatchReal Madrid

Real Madrid will enter as the favourite to win their third consecutive Champions League trophy, although they are by no means the clear frontrunner. Sports Interaction have listed the Spaniards at -101, meaning a win will earn you double your outlay. Remember that this line focuses on the result at the end of regulation time (90 minutes), so you will not win your bet if Real Madrid prevail at the end of extra time or after a penalty shootout.

Liverpool of course have been involved in a Champions League final penalty shootout before, holding their nerve against AC Milan in 2005 in what is arguably the most memorable Champions League decider of the 21st century. If you think Liverpool can go the distance again, you will need to pick the draw at +338, which is a very generous amount for a result with a high chance of occurring.

Liverpool enter this match as the outsiders, although again the gap between them and the Spanish giants is not overly big. The form of Liverpool's emphatic front-three, matched by their strong European pedigree will give punters plenty of reason to believe that they can win this fixture, and do so in regulation time. At +204, they will present a worthy return if you put your faith in them.

If the head to head odds are proving too tough to split, you can always attempt a wager in one of the several other markets available for this match. We are particularly fond of the first goal-scorer market, which sees Cristiano Ronaldo (+280) and Mohamed Salah (+345) in the box seat. It's never easy to pick which team will score first, although we're putting our faith in an early Liverpool goal, scored by none other than their Egyptian prince.

Champions League Final Predictions

What a fantastic final this will be. While many were predicting an El Classico final just a couple of months ago, this script is arguably even better. Two of the biggest clubs in European history. A five-time Ballon d'Or winner against a man who has done everything in his power to break into the Ronaldo-Messi duopoly. La Liga against EPL. We're in for a treat.

Real Madrid are deserved favourites for two reasons. Firstly, they have the stronger of the two teams on paper, boasting a lineup that should defeat any team on their day. But more importantly, they have been here and done this before. Twice. Experience is critical in big matches and something that Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his team lacks.

However experience can be overcome by hard work and desire, and while there should be no greater motivation than the chance to achieve three Champions League titles in succession, perhaps Madrid's players will not have the desperation and desire that their unheralded opponents will possess. Perhaps Liverpool, a club with such a fierce determination and swagger this season, will upset the defending champions on the world's biggest stage.

We can't help but think that if Liverpool do get the job done, the match will need to go beyond 90 minutes. We certainly believe that this game will finish level at the end of regulation time, and for that reason will be tipping the unfancied draw @ +338. Goals will be scored by both teams - our pick for the score after 90 minutes is 2-2, with a deciding strike to come in the form of a Liverpool extra-time winner. Regardless, it's going to be unmissable viewing.

UCL Final Preview & Likely Lineups

  • Date, Time: Saturday, 26th May @ 2:45pm EDT.
  • Matchup: Real Madrid (Spain) vs Liverpool (England).
  • Stadium: NSC Olimpiyskiy, Kiev, Ukraine (capacity of 70,050).
  • Referee: Milorad Mazic (Serbia) will centre the match.
  • Odds: Champions League Final Odds

Real Madrid

Madrid have endured a mixed season - they ended their La Liga campaign with a draw that confirmed a third-place finish behind champions Barcelona and neighbours Atletico, yet they have still managed to make it to the Champions League final, their third in a row. Incredibly, the Spanish club have now reached at least the semi-final stage for eight consecutive seasons and have already converted three into championships (2014, 2016 & 2017).

Outside observers have commented that Real's performance in the Champions League has been underwhelming in this campaign, and one could certainly say that about their most recent results at home (1-3 against Juventus, 2-2 against Bayern). They also finished second in their group behind Tottenham, which tells you that they haven't had it all their own way in 20117-18.

Yet the simple fact remains - Real Madrid have knocked over the French, Italian and German champions to reach this point and will truly have earned the tag of 'European Champions' if they win the final. Based on this logic, Liverpool (4th in England) should be their easiest opponent in the knockout phase.

Road to the Final

  • Qualified in second place behind Tottenham in Group H
  • Round of 16: def. Paris Saint-Germain 5-1
  • Quarter Finals: def. Juventus 4-3
  • Semi Finals: def. Bayern Munich 4-3

Likely Lineup:

  • Navas
  • Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo
  • Kroos, Modric, Casemiro
  • Vasquez, Ronaldo, Benzema

Star Player - Cristiano Ronaldo

The ever-present Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the reasons for their continued success, and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will once again be the key for the twelve-time European champions. His record run of eleven consecutive Champions League goals may have been halted against Bayern Munich, although there's no doubt he is the biggest threat to a Liverpool defence who have looked reasonably comfortable in Europe.

Ronaldo is certain to win yet another personal award by taking out the Champions League top-scorer crown, which will be his seventh in total. His 120 Champions League goals puts him 20 ahead of Lionel Messi and 49 ahead of third-placed Raul. His insatiable appetite for goals will give Madrid a huge chance of winning this one. 

Most Influential - Sergio Ramos

While the attention is rightly set on Ronaldo, the most crucial player for Madrid in this match will be defender Sergio Ramos, who will have the unenviable task of keeping Liverpool's front three in check. We saw how critical he is to the lineup in the home match against Juventus - his absence saw the Spaniards almost blow a three goal lead in the tie.

Liverpool

Liverpool are already the most successful English club in Europe, having won the Champions League / European Cup on five prior occasions, although that won't be a factor for a playing group who will all be fighting for their first title. Jurgen Klopp has got his side playing exceptionally well, and he will be desperate for victory himself considering he has already been a runner-up in this competition.

The Reds reached the final at the expense of a strong Roma team, and they will need to set up in a similar fashion to nullify the effect of Cristiano Ronaldo. They didn't quite get it right against Edin Dzeko, but they scored enough goals at the other end to paper over their defensive weaknesses. 

You could argue that Liverpool have not faced the quality of opponent in Europe that Madrid have faced en route to the final, yet their emphatic wins over a record-breaking Manchester City showed us that this squad is capable of matching it with the best teams. 

Road to the Final

  • Qualified in first place ahead of Sevilla in Group E
  • Round of 16: def. FC Porto 5-0
  • Quarter Finals: def. Manchester City 5-1
  • Semi Finals: def. AS Roma 7-6

Likely Lineup

  • Karius
  • Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson
  • Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum
  • Salah, Firmino, Mane

Star Player - Mohamed Salah

It has been an exceptional second stint in the Premier League for the Egyptian. The PFA Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Year and Premier League Golden Boot winner has been the key to Liverpool's unlikely Champions League title threat, and he has been quoted in saying that this is the prize that matters most. If he can be part of a winning side on Saturday, surely Ballon d'Or talk will follow. 

Realistically, Salah is part of a trio of exceptional players who each do their bit at the front of Liverpool's formation. Roberto Firmino is also coming off a record-breaking year, while Sadio Mane was perhaps a little below his best and still contributed to what has been a lethal potency in front of goal.

Most Influential - James Milner

The man happy to do the hard work and give the accolades a miss is veteran James Milner. Forced into a left-back role for the entirety of last year's campaign, Milner has returned to fill a very important void in Liverpool's lineup. With the expected absence of Emre Can and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Milner's experience and determination will be critical to any possibility of a Liverpool win. He has also quietly achieved the most assists in the Champions League so far this season. 

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