One of the craziest Champions Leagues in living memory comes to a conclusion this Saturday when Liverpool face Tottenham in Madrid.
The very nature of this year’s competition has made us take a look at some of the more unlikely markets ahead of Saturday’s final.
If this season has thought us anything, it’s that everything is possible!
Sadio Mané to score a hat-trick – 50/1
There has never been a hat-trick in a Champions League final, with AC Milan’s Pierino Prati the last player to score one in any European cup final when he did so against Ajax in 1969. In total, 50 years have passed since a player last scored three goals on the biggest stage in club football.
There’s a reason for that too – actually a number of reasons. Champions League finals are usually cagey affairs.
Recent games like Real Madrid’s 4-1 over Juventus or their 3-1 over Liverpool may have looked like open games but in reality, chances were still at a premium.
Then there is the issue of nerves. This is one of the biggest sporting occasions in the world and trying to perform to the highest level on the biggest stage is no easy feat.
However, 2018/19 has already bucked just about every trend imaginable. There have been more impossible comebacks than ever before and records have been tumbling left, right and centre.
Of the players capable of scoring a hat-trick and writing their names into the history books, Mané is probably the least absurd. His four goals in Europe this season might seem fairly paltry when compared to his 10 goals season, but Mane has been a machine domestically notching 22 goals to be one of three players to share the Golden Boot.
His two goals against Bayern Munich were crucial to Liverpool’s progression and his goal in last season’s final briefly drew the Reds level, before Gareth Bale took centre stage of course.
If anyone is to score a glut of goals it will be Mane and not Mohammed Salah, that is most likely to do so.
3-3 Draw – 55/1
Liverpool and 3-3 draws in the Champions League final. They go hand in hand.
Well no, they don’t really as it’s happened just once in eight final appearances for the Reds. It was, however, the only final to ever finish 3-3, so there is that.
The fact that both teams just miraculously came from three goals down to make this year’s final makes it basically inevitable that we’ll see one team take a three-goal lead and squander it.
In a search for tenuous links to support this 3-3 theory, it was found that both teams possess one player each who played under then Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.
Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko both played for the Spaniard at Newcastle, and it is safe to assume that both will be channelling his spirit on Saturday, making 3-3 the safest long odds bet anyone could put on.
Tottenham halftime/Liverpool fulltime – 18/1
If the draw is not for you, then this might be more to your liking!
Spurs’ comeback in Ajax basically made the word ‘Spursy’ redundant for at least the next two seasons, but it would be very Spursy if they were to go through all the hard work of getting to the final in the most dramatic way imaginable and build up a first-half lead, only to throw it all away in the second half.
Neither Jurgen Klopp, nor Mauricio Pochettino have won a trophy for their respective clubs. That is set to change on Saturday night by default.
Neither has shown much proficiency in cup finals and both will invariably try their best to lose on Saturday.
It would be more like Tottenham to do so than Liverpool – just. So, we’re suggesting backing them to take a lead in at the break, only to see it all fall apart in the second half.
* All odds correct at time of posting.