The two best teams in Europe finally get a shot at each other after knocking out all the rest. This Saturday, May 26, sees Liverpool take on Real Madrid. Liverpool is playing for their first Champions League title since 2005 while Real Madrid is fighting for their third-straight championship. This match will be a fierce competition between two strong offensive teams.
Liverpool is the underdogs heading into this matchup. The team has not seen much success since their Champions League victory in 2005. This current lineup has been playing well, especially with the addition of Mo Salah on the left flank. Liverpool finished fourth in the Premier League table, but they handed champions Manchester City one of their only two losses. They also knocked the EPL Champions out of the Champions League, which is impressive given that City was favored to win it all one point.
Salah has undoubtedly been the sparkplug for Liverpool this season. The winger led all scorers on his team with 32 in the EPL season. He also tallied 11 Champions League goals. He wasn’t as productive in the semifinal against Roma, but Salah has been electrifying to watch. You can bet he is on Real Madrid’s radar. Salah has Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane to aid him on the offensive front. The trip is particularly lethal on the counter-attack. Midfielders James Milner and Jordan Henderson will play supplier to either of the three main attackers.
If you look at Real Madrid’s pedigree, it is easy to see why they are so successful. Real’s roster is stacked with talented players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Isco, Lucas Vazquez and more. Ronaldo has been playing at his usual high level throughout the Champions League campaign. Isco adds a dynamic element to the offense and could be a starter. The real question is how Gareth Bale will factor into the lineup. His fitness has been an issue all season long with multiple injuries hampering him, but the Welshman looked powerful in his last game with 2 goals. Bale’s pace could be important against this Liverpool defense.
Both teams share the same weakness—defense. For Real Madrid, defenders must deal with the attacking trio of Sane, Firmino, and Salah. Salah will be on the left side with Marcelo. If Marcelo can keep the Egyptian in his pocket, there shouldn’t be too much of an issue. However, if Salah’s pace proves too much then Real will have to make adjustments. On the other hand, Liverpool’s defenders have to fight off Ronaldo, Bale, and Benzema. Possession will likely be in Madrid’s hands for most of the game, meaning the Liverpool defenders must remain vigilant throughout the entire 90 minutes.
This game is going to be tough for both teams. While some expect Real to win by a landslide, we think it will be a close match. Liverpool has come too far to be blown away in the final. US citizens can legally bet on soccer games with offshore sportsbooks using a variety of wagering types such as point spread, money line, totals and much more. Madrid is favored to win, but Liverpool has proved they have what it takes.