💵⚽️ UEFA Champions League Final 17/18: Betting Preview ⚽️💵

4년 전

UCL Final 17/18

Liverpool vs Real Madrid
20.45 CET 26/05/18

First of all, let me just say as a disclaimer, that I am a Liverpool fan. I have been careful to use as much objective criteria as possible (a good tip in general when analysing any match). I'm not afraid to bet against my own team when I believe there is value to do so, as shown when I tipped Brighton on the handicap in gameweek 38 (and lost!).

Liverpool Factors in Liverpool's favour

1. Favourable recent CL Expected Goals (xG)

Expected goals can tell us how "lucky" a team was by summing the quality of chances each team created. According to Infogol, here are the xG numbers for the last two rounds:

QF 2 leg xG: RMA 5.92 - 4.41 JUV (actual: 4-3 on aggregate)
QF 2 leg xG: LIV 2.41 - 1.75 MCY (actual: 5-1 on aggregate)
SF 2 leg xG: RMA 2.5 – 5.2 BAY (actual: 4-3 on aggregate)
SF 2 leg xG: LIV 5.7 – 4.2 ROM (actual: 7-6 on aggregate)

What does this tell us?

  • Real deserved to progress against Juventus over two legs (despite needing a late goal in the second leg to do so)
  • Liverpool deserved to progress against Man City over two legs, but were prolific in converting their chances, and scored 2.59 more than expected.
  • Real were very lucky to progress against Bayern with 2.7 xG less than their German opponents! Like Liverpool though, Real were prolific, scoring an extra 1.5 goals than they were expected to.
  • Liverpool deserved to progress against Roma with a +1.5xG advantage.

The part in bold is what I'm most interested in - it's extraordinary how Bayern aren't in the final given the chances they created. Many will point to Bayern's goalkeeper gifting a goal to Real in the 2nd leg as the crucial moment

2. Slightly favourable collateral form

As the last time these two teams played each other was back in 2014, we can't reliably use H2H. The next best thing then, is collateral form study i.e. how each team performed against common opponents. Let's look at performances this season using only matches between the relevant teams rather than the league tables:

(Liverpool positive) Liverpool > Roma > Barcelona > Real Madrid

  • As above, Liverpool deserved their victory over Roma (xG: LIV 5.7 – 4.2 ROM)
  • Roma deserved their victory over Barcelona (ROM 5.11 - 3.22 BAR)
  • Barcelona have drawn 2-2 at home (xG 1.48 - 1.8) and won 0-3 away (xG 1.59 - 3.86) vs Real this season = Total xG BAR 5.34 - 3.39 RMA

(Neutral) Liverpool = Real Madrid > Sevilla

  • LIV 2-2 SEV (xG 2.31 - 1.32), SEV 3-3 LIV (xG 1.8 - 2.55) = Total xG LIV 4.86 - 3.12 SEV
  • SEV 3-2 RMA (xG 2.67 - 2.86), RMA 5-0 SEV (3.62 - 0.39) = Total xG RMA 6.48 - 3.06 SEV

Both Liverpool and Real have been better than Sevilla this season but still not managed to win both games (Liverpool drew twice, Real Madrid won 1, lost 1).

(Real Madrid positive) Real Madrid > Tottenham > Liverpool

  • RMA 1-1 TOT (xG 2.99 - 0.99), TOT 3-1 RMA (xG 2.02 - 2.24) = Total xG RMA 5.23 - 3.01 TOT
  • TOT 4-1 LIV (xG 2.46 - 0.74), LIV 2-2 TOT (xG 1.49 - 2.74) = Total xG LIV 2.23 - 5.2 TOT

Interesting one this, as xG shows that Real were unlucky vs Tottenham, but looking at simply the results you would think Tottenham were better than Liverpool and Real Madrid. Game state has a lot to do with this, for example Liverpool were 1-0 up against Tottenham at home within 3 minutes and tried to hold on for 80+ minutes without attacking much. Likewise when Tottenham were 3-0 up against Real, Real then attacked without reply and edged xG in the end.

Honourable mention: Liverpool dominated a pre-season Audi cup game against Bayern, winning 0-3 away, and as seen in factor #1, Bayern were better than Real.

In summary, as you can see above it's very tight indeed, with 1 point to Liverpool, 1 to Real Madrid, and 1 "draw".

3. Already beaten the tournament favourites (Man City) convincingly (5-1 on aggregate)

Prior to Liverpool's 3-0 win at Anfield, Man City were the tournament favourites, mostly due to their incredibly dominant Premier League performances this season. To win 5-1 over two legs against a side of City's quality is very impressive indeed!

4. Champions league scoring record

Liverpool are the most prolific goalscorers in the competition so far, scoring an impressive 40 goals in 12 matches, 10 more than Real Madrid have scored!

5. Over-confident opponents?

I've placed a question mark on this one as it's the only factor that's both speculative and subjective, but it can't be ignored. Check out this quote from Real Madrid's president on 10th May...

Real Madrid honorary president Paco Gento told AS that he feels the upcoming Champions League final with Liverpool will be a "piece of cake" for his club.
[Source: ESPN]

Obviously, if this isn't a mentality shared by the Real Madrid players, then this won't go down as a negative.

Real Madrid Factors in Real Madrid's favour

1. Won this competition twice in a row

Real Madrid have won this competition two years in a row and are aiming for a hat-trick against a Liverpool team who have some players making their CL debut this season. so Real certainly have the edge experience-wise.

2. Stamina/fitness

In this season's UCL, Real Madrid have been very strong late on scoring 7 goals in the last 15mins of games, and conceding 0.
Liverpool on the other hand have scored 7 and conceded 7 in the last 15mins, which makes up 44% of all UCL goals they've conceded!

This points to Liverpool perhaps tiring late on due to their high tempo style. Certainly, losing a 3-0 lead away to Sevilla in the group stages by conceding a 93rd minute equaliser is one real example of this late tiredness effect.

3. Klopp has a "final curse"

In six finals Klopp has reached in his managerial career, he has lost five of those six (2/2 at Liverpool)! Looking back at them, certainly there was a lack of luck, but it wasn't long before the German media dubbed it a "curse". Klopp of course has denied this will have any effect on today's final, but if this plants a seed of doubt into his players' minds that could make the difference.

In Summary...

Considering all of the above factors, Liverpool to win @ 3.3 appears to hold some value. The collateral form study indicates that it's hard to split the teams, and on this basis alone, perhaps the win prices should be closer (2.5 each?).

However, if it does go to extra time, Real Madrid will most likely have more energy at that point given Liverpool's high tempo pressing style, and it may be worth placing a saver bet (0.1pts) of Real Madrid to win in extra time @ 11.0.

1pt Liverpool to win @ 3.3 (WilliamHill)
0.1pts Real Madrid to win in extra time @ 11.0 (SkyBet)

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your bets this week! I'd love to hear your thoughts, so whether you agree/disagree with my post please comment below, and I'll throw some upvotes for the most interesting/insightful comments :)

Adam (acelad)

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so whether you agree/disagree with my post please comment below, and I'll throw some upvotes for the most interesting/insightful comments

What are those? 😃

I don't have a good record predicting the outcomes of the UEFA competitions (both the EL & CL) and I have 1u on Liverpool to win here, so given my record... go the other way 😃

Great article... this is the kind of indepth research that I consistently fail to do! I consider myself an instinctive gambler and to be honest that shows in my results :-) To that end I am planning to go for 3-2 either way and a 2-2 draw, dutching my stakes to level the payouts. Should be a great game though and I certainly hope Liverpool win it :-)

I'm on the same side Acelad !
Liverpool +0 @ 2.47 (for FT 90 minutes)

I probably won't be able to watch the match, but lets do this :)

Haha I was actually thinking something similar. Could see a 2-2 draw maybe and then Real win it in extra time or penalties like they have done in the past! Interesting to see who gets the first goal too.

I think Liverpool's pressing game could work really well against Madrid. Especially if it leads to an early goal and forces Madrid to attack more and then hit them on the counter again.

If Madrid get an early goal and play more patiently then I think it's game over.

The best analysis of the match so far but I am going for Real Madrid to win this one, I think that their experience will count.