This is the biggest game of the season, and the climax of the campaign, as Infogol’s Analyst uses expected goals (xG) data to analyse both teams, and generate the best bets.
So Tottenham are finally in a Champions League – despite making hard work of it along the way. It’s been a real rollercoaster of emotions and that is unlikely to change on Saturday night against Liverpool 8pm.
Spurs’ underlying numbers in the Champions League though are very underwhelming. In their last 12 matches, they created an average of 1.49 goals for (xGF) per game, while conceding 1.26 goals against (xGA), per game. Not the sort of figures we would expect from a Champions League finalist.
This is something they’ll have to improve if they are to have any chance of lifting the trophy, as this Liverpool team will cause Spurs plenty of problems. The return of Harry Kane and other first-teamers will give them a boost and add to their attacking process. So we expect them to get on the scoresheet at least in Madrid.
So who wins?
It’s successive Champions League finals for Liverpool and while that deserves a huge round of applause, there’s other reasons for supporters to rejoice.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have beaten the best teams in France, Germany and Spain and the second-best teams in Italy and Portugal, en route to the final. That’s a monstrous achievement. It isn’t a huge surprise to Infogol that Liverpool made it to Madrid, especially when we take a closer look at their underlying numbers.
In their 12 Champions League matches, the Reds have averaged a whopping 2.10 xGF per game, and given the calibre of teams they faced, that is exceptionally impressive. They’ve only conceded an average of only 0.95 xGA per game in that time, so it’s very clear as to why they are favourites to win on Saturday night.
Unfortunately, there can only be one winner. While this is expected to be a highly-entertaining final, with goals at both ends, but given the startling difference in underlying process between the sides in their Champions League run (LIV 0.92 xGD per game better than Spurs on average), we fancy Liverpool to win with both teams to score.
Selection: Liverpool to win and BTTS @ 13/5
The return of Harry Kane is a huge boost for Tottenham and if he starts he will likely get on the end of a few decent chance. However, when looking at non-penalty expected goals (non-pen xG/90) per 90 minutes in the Champions League so far, Liverpool players rule the roost.
Unsurprisingly, it is their front three that offer the greatest threat, with Sadio Mané (0.49 non-pen xG/90) and Mohamed Salah (0.39 non-pen xG/90) being the biggest goal threats across both sides. Kane is just behind them on (0.38 non-pen xG/90).
That makes Sadio Mane an obvious stand out candidate for a goalscorer bet here.
The Senegalese forward can end his season on a high, and he has previous in scoring in big finals, having bagged in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat in this game last season.
The 6/4 about him to score anytime makes great appeal, while chancing him to net first at 9/2 looks a play.
Correct score longshot
The gulf between the sides may be made obvious and so the longshot is Liverpool to win 3-1 at a juicy 12/1 – coincidentally the same soreline they lost to Real Madrid last year.
Selection: Liverpool to win 3-1 @ 12/1
*Prices correct a time of publishing on Friday