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Saturday’s Champions League Final Concludes A Dramatic Football Season

Liverpool and Real Madrid clash once again in the Champions League Final in Paris on Saturday. Here’s our preview of the big game.

As always, the football season in Europe will conclude with its biggest club fixture. That game comes this Saturday from the Stade de France in Saint Denis, northern Paris and will see 13-time Champions of Europe Real Madrid, take on a team that has won the Champions League trophy six times, Liverpool.

It promises to be an exciting climax to what has been a dramatic football season across Europe this year, with the new 3-tournament set up working better than expected and producing higher quality in all three competitions, most notably the Europa League.

We’re going to preview and give you our tips on Saturday’s huge clash, but first we think you should know about a new Welcome Bonus offer currently available for brand new customers at one of our recommended betting sites.

Bet365 Sport are offering a wide selection of pre-match and In-Play bets on the Champions League Final this week and not only that, but as a new customer to bet365, you can get your hands on a great value Champions League Welcome Bonus offer.

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Champions League 2022 – Factfile

  • Real Madrid will be competing in their 17th Champions League Final. They have won 13 and lost just 3 of the finals that they have competed in.
  • Liverpool will be competing in their 10th Champions League Final on Saturday night. The Reds have won six and lost three of the previous nine finals they have played.
  • This is the third Champions League Final between the two teams. Liverpool won the first 1-0 in Paris in 1981 thanks to an Alan Kennedy goal. Real Madrid won the second 3-1 in Kyiv in 2018, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale scoring twice for Real and Sadio Mane for Liverpool in a game best remembered for two dreadful goalkeeping mistakes from Loris Karius that handed Real Madrid the title.
  • Clement Turpijn of France will be the referee for the final. He officiated the Europa League Final between Villarreal and Manchester United last season.
  • The teams have met 8 times in their history, all of those games coming in the Champions League. Liverpool have won three, Real Madrid four, with one drawn game.
  • Rafa Benitez has managed both teams, while the likes of Fernando Morientes, Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Arbeloa, Michael Owen, Steve McManaman, Jerzy Dudek and Nicolas Anelka have played for both teams.
  • Of the current squads of players, only one player – Liverpool’s Fabinho – has played for both clubs in his career.
  • Both teams have had domestic success this season. Real Madrid won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup, while Liverpool finished second in the Premier League but lifted both domestic cups, the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.
  • Liverpool have lost just three games in all competitions this season, none by a margin of more than one goal. Real Madrid have lost nine games in total in all competitions.
  • The Reds have also played 62 games this season, compared to 55 for Real Madrid.
  • Liverpool have defeated two Italian teams (AC Milan & Inter Milan, two Spanish teams (Villarreal & Atletico Madrid) and two Portuguese teams (FC Porto & Benfica) in the Group Stages and Knockout Stages thus far. They have won 10 of those 12 games, drawing one and losing once.
  • Real Madrid have defeated Inter Milan, Sheriff Tiraspol and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Group Stages, before defeating Paris St Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in the Knockout Stages of the competition. They have won eight and lost four of those games.

Latest Team News & Predicted Line Ups

Liverpool are the team with the most injury concerns ahead of the game on Saturday. The good news for the Reds is that key men Virgil Van Dijk and Mo Salah should both be fit to play after recovering from knocks picked up in the Reds FA Cup Final win at Wembley a couple of weeks back.

However, there are still concerns over whether Fabinho will be back from a hamstring injury sustained against Aston Villa and greater worries over Thiago Alcantara, who limped off just before half time with a foot injury in the game at the weekend against Wolves.

Divock Origi is already ruled out through a hamstring injury ahead of his summer move to AC Milan.

The shape of Liverpool’s midfield will depend very much on whether Fabinho and Thiago are fit to play and while Fabinho’s chances look good, Thiago’s are very much in the balance.

Predicted Liverpool Team – 4-3-3 – Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Diaz, Mane, Salah.

Real Madrid’s sole injury concern heading into this game was regarding Austrian defender David Alaba who was taken off at half time in their semi-final first leg defeat away to Manchester City with an adductor muscle injury.

The centre back has not played since, but is expected to be fit enough to return to training this week and be ready for selection for Saturday’s game if called upon. If Alaba is not fit, then expect Nacho to come in as a replacement at the heart of Real defence.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team pretty much picks itself but if there is one position still up for grabs, it is the third striker role alongside Benzema and Vinicius Jr. with either Rodrygo or Federico Valverde likely to be handed the start, rather than Eden Hazard, Isco, Gareth Bale or Marco Asensio.

Predicted Real Madrid Team – 4-3-3 – Courtois, Carvajal, Mendy, Alaba, Eder Militao, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Vinicius Jr., Benzema, Valverde

Bet365 Sport Free £5 Bet On The Champions League Final

New and eligible customers with bet365 Sport can access a free £5 bet for the Champions League Final.

No deposit is required to qualify for this offer and eligible customers should have the bet ready in their account to be used.

Simply add your choice of Champions League Final bet to your bet slip from the markets available and if your bet qualifies for the offer, you should see an option to use your free £5 bet on that market.

Select that option by ticking the box, place the bet and you have used your free bet!

Free £5 Bet Information

Champions League Final £5 Free Bet

Enjoy a £5 Free Bet on Liverpool v Real Madrid with bet365.

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Champions League Final Tips

So the big question now is how do we see the Champions League Final going? You can’t overlook the fact that Real Madrid have squeezed through their three knockout ties, often relying on some incredible heroics by individuals, or collapses by their opponents late in games to progress.

Indeed, it is enough to make you wonder if fate has not already engraved their name on the famous trophy for a 14th time.

Liverpool suffered the disappointment of missing out on the Premier League last weekend by a single point once again, ending their hopes of a quadruple, but they can still land a treble of cups with a victory on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp won’t need to motivate his team for this one with the 3-1 defeat in the 2018 final still very much fresh in the mind of Liverpool fans and players.

In terms of data, the Reds have the edge, losing just a third of the number of games Real have this season, despite playing seven games more. On paper too, their squad seems to have better depth, especially in defence. They are also younger than the majority of this Real side.

What is exciting is that both these teams are better when attacking and I think as such, we will see a fast-flowing and open game and I do think we will see goals at both ends.

So with that in mind, my big tips for the final are as follows:

  • Full Time Result – Liverpool win – 21/20
  • Correct Score – Liverpool 2-1 Real Madrid – 8/1
  • Anytime Goalscorer – Mohamed Salah – 11/10
  • Bet Boost Pick – Mo Salah to score anytime, Liverpool to lift the trophy, Over 9 corners in the match combined – 6/1.

Kick off is 8pm on Saturday night UK time, so don’t forget to tune in to watch the two giants face off for the biggest trophy in club football!

Ian John

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