Football Tips: 16/1 punt among these 5 Liverpool v Real Madrid Champions League final best bets

Our tipster Andrew Beasley has a tipple for all tastes ahead of Saturday's huge match.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

With all due disrespect to Manchester City and Villarreal, this is a proper Champions League final. Instead of a showpiece between two teams with one previous final and no wins between them, Liverpool and Real Madrid have been kings of Europe 19 times in total.

This is their third meeting at this stage. The Reds won 1-0 in 1981 (in Paris, omen fans) while Los Blancos were 3-1 victors in 2018, a game which you, me and Loris Karius will never forget.

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Where Liverpool got through the knockout phase with very few sticky moments – at no point were they behind in any of their ties, even if they trailed in some second legs – Madrid could easily have been knocked out in each of the last three rounds. If this were a league season, I’d say there’s no way they can sustain this form for long enough.

But they don’t need to ride it out for 38 games, just one more. As Real have taken care of the champions of England, France, and Europe, they won’t be scared of Liverpool and especially as they knocked them out last season. Things are never that easy in the Champions League final, though, so let’s take a look at some of the best available bets in increasing order of price.

Jurgen Klopp

Saturday 8pm: Liverpool v Real Madrid
Champions League Final

TV: BT Sport 1, BT Sport Ultimate and BT Sport YouTube

To Lift the Cup: Liverpool

Liverpool are favourites to win on Saturday and it’s easy to see why. Jurgen Klopp’s side have played 34 matches this year and they’ve won 26 of them in normal time and lost just once.

Clearly such form cannot continue indefinitely but they have amassed this record when playing every single weekend and midweek since January 9th. Having a six-day break between their win over Wolves and the clash with Madrid will feel like some serious R and R.

With the neuroscience-boosted penalty form in order too – the Reds have scored 22 of their 24 spot kicks in shootouts this season – they will also feel confident if it goes the distance. Real have shown they can blow teams away in bursts but if Liverpool withstand that they should lift the trophy.

Penalty Awarded? Yes

England’s most successful side have won the European Cup or Champions League on six previous occasions, and in three of those finals they had a penalty. Whether they get one here remains to be seen but there’s a good chance at least one side will.

Both teams were only one penalty shy of receiving the joint-most in their respective leagues this season and the man in charge loves pointing to the spot. Clement Turpin is the ref in Paris and among the 20 current whistlers with at least 14 Champions League matches on their CVs, he gives out spot kicks most frequently. Turpin should add to his tally by awarding a penalty here.

Shown a Card: Sadio Mane

If you don’t watch Liverpool every week you might be unaware that Sadio Mane is unafraid to leave the boot in now and again. Yet only 10 attacking players picked up more yellow cards than him in the Premier League this season and just two of them played for top six sides.

The former Southampton man was also booked in two of the last three meetings between these teams. With a ref who averages 3.5 yellows per Champions League game, a flutter on Mane to be shown a card looks a good value bet.

To Score 2 Goals or more: Mohamed Salah

While every Liverpool player from the 2018 final will be out for revenge over Real Madrid, few will be as motivated as Mohamed Salah. He had to be substituted in the first half after Sergio Ramos did a number on him, and it meant he wasn’t fully fit for Egypt at the World Cup that year either.

“We have a score to settle” was his social media post after the finalists were confirmed, and “we’re not done yet” after the league season was complete. “I’m going to shove the trophy up Ramos’ arse” is currently in his drafts.

Salah only converted one of his first 11 clear-cut chances after returning from AFCON, but he has tucked away two of his last three. The fact he has had so many good opportunities (added to Madrid giving up at least two clear-cut chances in their matches with Chelsea and Manchester City) suggests Salah can score two goals in Paris.

Liverpool 1+ Goals in Each Half; Liverpool 3+ Corners in Each Half & Real Madrid 1+ Cards in Each Half

Liverpool were the masters of scoring in both halves in the 2021/22 Premier League, doing so six more times than anyone else in total, and in 13 of their 19 away matches. They achieved this in six of their Champions League matches too. Corners by half is harder to check, but as the Reds averaged over six per game in the knockout stage while Real conceded as many, Liverpool having three in each half seems a reasonable shout.

As for the cards, Carlo Ancelotti’s boys picked up at least one in both halves of four of their last six European matches. They’ll have plenty of defending against pacy attackers so the same can occur here to put the bow on our #WhatOddsPaddy selection, Liverpool 1+ Goals in Each Half; Liverpool 3+ Corners in Each Half & Real Madrid 1+ Cards in Each Half.

Liverpool v Real Madrid best bets

To Lift the Cup: Liverpool
Penalty Awarded? Yes
Shown a Card: Sadio Mane
To Score 2 Goals or more: Mohamed Salah
Liverpool 1+ Goals in Each Half; Liverpool 3+ Corners in Each Half & Real Madrid 1+ Cards in Each Half

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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