An incredible Champions League campaign is about to come to its inevitable end. This has been a season filled with drama, surprises and, most importantly, brilliant football. But before the floodlights can be turned off for the summer, the stage is set for the biggest and most important game of them all! The final of the Champions League is easily one of the most popular football games played all season, and this year should be no different.
The match will be played in Madrid, at the astonishing home of Atletico Madrid, the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. It opened up after a lengthy renovation just 2 years ago and can seat almost 68 000 football fans. This will be the first time since 2010 that the final is held in Madrid, a city known for its love of football and its gigantic clubs. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid faced each other in the Champions League finals of both 2014 and 2016 (!) and also this year we will see two finalists from the same country, when Tottenham and Liverpool go head to head on Saturday! Keep reading for a look at both teams and what the odds are like for this huge match.
Spurs have had another great season under Pochettino where they finished 4th in the Premier League and once again gave the other top teams a good run for their money. Players such as Son and Lucas have been instrumental in this success, especially in the absence of Harry Kane who has struggled with injuries. It is, however, expected that their superstar will be ready for the final on Saturday, and this should be a great relief to anyone associated with Tottenham. He will surely be useful when the North Londoners try to secure their first ever Champions League trophy.
Their road to the ultimate stage of this competition has been filled with drama. They secured advancement from the group of death ahead of Inter and behind Barcelona by a whisker, before showing their class by overcoming Dortmund by 4-0 on aggregate in the next round. Things were a lot more even when they faced Man City in the quarter finals, and an unforgettable second leg eventually sent them through after being rescued by VAR in overtime. Next in their path were the youngsters of Ajax who required more overtime drama to be beaten as Lucas sent Tottenham through by scoring in the 95th minute in Amsterdam. The margins have certainly been on the side of the Lily Whites so far this season, but have they exhausted their luck ahead of their date with Liverpool?
Odds to win the final (including overtime and penalties): 2.60
Biggest strength: Pochettinos ability to change a game completely in minutes
Biggest weakness: Struggle to organise defensively when the opposition move the ball quickly
Players to watch: Harry Kane, Heung Min Son and Christian Eriksen
Liverpool are in the Champions League final for the second year in a row and will hope that the second times a charm in this case. Manager Jurgen Klopps final statistics wont give much optimism, though, as he has only won 1 out of the 7 finals he has been in as a manager. Then again, he recently said that this Liverpool team is the best side he has ever taken into a final. Fans of the Merseyside team are certainly positive and so are the bookmakers, as Liverpool have had an astonishing season. They finished just 1 point behind Manchester City on the Premier League table with 98 points, the highest amount they have ever managed. More good news for Liverpool include the probable return of striker Firmino from injury to complete their lethal attacking trident along with Salah and Mane.
So what has Liverpools road to Madrid looked like? Well, they too found themselves in a very hard group along with PSG and Napoli. They just about secured second place and went on to face Bayern Munich and Porto in the last 16 and quarter finals respectively. They overcame them both without too much trouble, but things were about to get a lot tougher for Klopps men. After losing 3-0 to Barcelona at Camp Nou, another Liverpool miracle was needed at Anfield where they completed an incredible 4-0 comeback in a game that will go down in the history books. Now its time to face a much more familiar opponent as The Reds will try to overcome Tottenham and lift their 6th European cup. Can they finish their season in style?
Odds to win the final (including overtime and penalties): 1.50
Biggest strength: Lethal counter attacks
Biggest weakness: Tend to get exposed on the flanks
Players to watch: Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk
In spite of Liverpool being favourites, this will most likely be a very close tie. Both teams love to attack and play exciting and entertaining football, so from a neutral point of view its safe to say that this will be a great game to watch. Looking at how our two finalists have gotten to this stage, its easy to imagine a lot of goals will be scored too, and over 2.5 goals will give you 1.86 times your money at the time of writing. However, if a lot of goals are scored we do suspect that they will be evenly divided on the two teams. This is a match that could easily go into extra time and maybe even penalties. A draw after 90 minutes will give you 3.60 times your money which are good odds for two so evenly matched sides.
Our recommended bet: Liverpool to win in extra time (10.00)
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