Real Madrid v Liverpool: Can the Reds conquer Europe again?

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Real Madrid v Liverpool is the Champions League Final the biggest club game in world football deserves.

Two of the biggest, most storied clubs in the world come head-to-head in Kiev for the title of Europe’s best. And what a game we have in store.

Real are 23/20 to win over 90 minutes. Liverpool are outsiders at 21/10. The draw is available at 27/10.

Los Galaticos manager Zinedine Zidane has a fully fit squad to choose from. The Frenchman will have have just one big call to make – who starts out of Isco and Gareth Bale?

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will be without Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Joe Gomez. However, in better news, James Milner and Emre Can are back in training with Milner expected to start.

In boxing, there’s a phrase ‘styles make fights’ and it’s particularly relevant to this clash on the field. In terms of an entertaining game of football, Real and Liverpool are a perfect match. They’re both incredible in attack, and can be a bit leaky at the back.

Goals should be the order of the day here. Real games in this season’s UCL have averaged 3.75 goals per game with Liverpool’s an even higher 4.42. Over 2.5 is 4/9, while Over 3.5 is 23/20.

In head-to-head clashes, Liverpool have the overall lead with three wins to Real’s two. But the most recent games have gone the La Liga giant’s way. Cristiano Ronaldo and co. saw off their Premier League opponents 3-0 away and 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in the 2014-15 group stages.

However, it’s difficult to get away from the feeling that Liverpool might just have the edge in this. Real have definitely had the more difficult route to the final. And they looked very ropey at different periods in all three ties against Juventus and Bayern Munich.

They scraped through against Juve. Plus, Bayern cut them open at will in both legs and only profligate finishing let them down. Liverpool’s front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane are as deadly as they come in European football.

Liverpool to lift the trophy is 11/10. But for the more speculative punters, Liverpool to win and Over 2.5 goals is 3/1.

In an expected goal-laden game, the goalscorer markets will be interesting. Ronaldo and Salah are 3/4 shots to get on the scoresheet Anytime.

But with so many attacking options in what looks an offensive game, Mane is at 9/4 to find the net Anytime. The Senegal international has 9 goals in 12 UCL games this term and he’s bagged in four of the Reds’ six knockout games. He could be the man for the big occasion.

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Cian Carroll

Starting life as a football columnist for his local paper in Dundalk, Cian has written for a number of media outlets with pieces published in The Birmingham Mail and Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. A lover of football, GAA, boxing, rugby and MMA, he’s a big Aston Villa and Dundalk fan. He can be regularly spotted on various mountain tops.