Real Madrid vs Liverpool (Champion League Final Match): Date & Time, Previews, Team News, Predictions
|Real Madrid vs Liverpool Champion League Final Match: Date& Time, Previews, Team News, Predictions . Photo: UEFA|
UEFA Champions League final day is almost upon us. Real Madrid is set to take on Liverpool on CBS and Paramount+ after both teams advanced from the semifinals. Los Blancos pulled off an amazing comeback to bounce Manchester City, while Liverpool came to life in the second half of their second leg to eliminate Villarreal. Those results set up a a meeting between two of the most successful clubs in the competition's history.
Real have a record 13 Champions League titles, while Liverpool are tied for third most with six. If Liverpool win their seventh, they'll match AC Milan for second most all time.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool Champion League Final Match: Date&Time, Venue
Liverpool vs Real Madrid is scheduled for a 8pm BST kick-off on Saturday, May 28, 2022.
The Stade de France in Paris will host the match.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool Champion League Final Match: Where to watch
TV channel: The match will be televised on BT Sport 1. Coverage begins at 6pm BST, two hours before kick-off.
Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the BT Sport website or app.
Live blog: You can follow all the action via Standard Sport’s live blog.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool Champion League Final Match: Team News
|Photo: Getty Images|
Liverpool will be desperate to have Fabinho back for the final, after his absence with a hamstring injury. Klopp confirmed that Fabinho will return to training at the start of the week and is expected to be available on Saturday. Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed should both return to the side too.
All trained as part of an open session on Wednesday.
It’s less good news for Thiago, who limped off against Wolves with an Achilles problem Klopp described as “not good” and is a massive doubt for the Reds.
Divock Origi will not get the chance to end his Liverpool career with another Champions League final goal, with the Belgian ruled out with a muscle injury.
For Real Madrid, David Alaba looks set to be in contention after a month on the sidelines.
The defender has not played since the first-leg against City in the semi-fnals due to muscle fatigue and missed out on Real’s final game of the La Liga season against Real Betis, but is expected to make a return.
On Tuesday, Ancelotti confirmed he had a full squad from which to choose.
Much will rely on Benzema for Real Madrid and he’ll be looking to add to the 15 goals he has already scored in this seasons’ Champions League. Carlo Ancelotti hailed that Gareth Bale may be a part of the Real squad for the final, before he leaves the club in the summer.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool: Previews
Pressure on patched up sides
While this is a clash between two of the most successful sides in this competition, the pair are a shadow of themselves. Both teams come into this one with major absences, with the winner likely to be whoever can cope the best with the gaps in their side.
Sergio Ramos has been ruled out, robbing us of a reunion between him and Mo Salah after their controversial 2018 clash. Eden Hazard is out for Real once again, while the Reds will be missing Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez among others.
All in for Liverpool
Real Madrid have clawed their way back into the Spanish title race, heaping more pressure onto their weekend encounter with Barcelona. Having that game in between two legs against Liverpool can’t be good for Zinedine Zidane’s side, while it allows Liverpool the chance to keep their European hopes alive.
The Reds have been excellent in Europe, much better than their inconsistent league displays. Their home and away wins over RB Leipzig saw them deal with one of the best-performing sides in Europe. Jurgen Klopp’s men have now won six of eight European games this term, continuing his fine record in this competition.
Liverpool to edge first leg
Klopp has won each of his last five games at the quarter-final stage of the UEFA Champions League, including all four at this stage while in charge of the Reds. He’s also guided them to six wins in their last seven away games.
When you consider that Liverpool won both meetings with Leipzig away from Anfield, they should be capable of beating a Real side who have weakened since winning their latest European Cup against the Reds in Kiev. We’re backing Liverpool to win here, with a 2-1 victory for the visitors our correct score prediction.
Liverpool have the edge in terms of firepower in this one, with Diogo Jota back to partner Mo Salah and Sadio Mane – who have scored 43 goals in this competition for the Reds. Salah has boosted that tally of late having scored in five of his last seven games in the Champions League, so he’s our anytime goalscorer prediction.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool: Predictions
|Photo: Getty Images|
While conventional wisdom would have Liverpool as the "better" team (whatever that's worth in a massive game such as this), betting against Real Madrid's Champions League magic also feels foolish. Who knows if that magic will finally runs out, or if Karim Benzema has yet another spell to weave?
Both teams have plus odds in this match, and rightly so. It's essentially a coin-flip, and the team that makes the fewest mistakes will hoist the trophy. While Real Madrid concede more chances, to the tune of 15.1 shots per Champions League game compared to Liverpool's 6.7, Los Blancos are built around punishing opponent mistakes. That is why Real Madrid are so good late in games; they lie in wait until a tired opponent begins to falter.
While Liverpool have the edge on paper, there are also signs that the Reds are slipping. Recent Premier League struggles against lesser teams are cause for concern, and the potential loss of Thiago to injury is a big blow.
A Champions League final hasn't finished level since 2016 when Real Madrid topped rivals Atletico Madrid. After watching the thrilling Europa League final decided on penalties, this one could experience the same ending. In a game in which it's impossible to separate the teams, it's perhaps best not to try separating them at all.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Real Madrid are unbeaten in the last five meetings between the sides, including that 2018 Champions League final win and last season’s quarter-final tie.
Liverpool wins: 3
Real Madrid wins: 4
Real Madrid vs Liverpool: best bets & expert analysis
|Photo: Liverpool Offside|
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid best bet
For a time, major domestic and European finals grew a reputation for being cagey affairs, with teams hoping to escape at least the first half without losing the match before going on to try and win it after the break. That's no longer the case.
In the modern game, European finals have more often than not delivered on the massive buildup. While the last three Champions League finals have all gone under the 2.5 total goals, one of them (PSG vs. Bayern) had an expected goals (xG) total that surpassed 2.5 goals, while another (Liverpool vs. Tottenham) featured 30 shots and came very close.
When you look even closer, there's another factor at play — the teams. Real Madrid have played in four Champions League finals since 2014, winning all four. Across those four matches, only one opponent — notoriously cagey Atletico Madrid — managed to keep the over 2.5 total goals from hitting. In fact, going all the way to 2000, that 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid was the only Champions League final that went under the total across the six featuring Real Madrid.
Liverpool have a similar track record. The win over Spurs in 2019 was the only of Liverpool's last four Champions League finals to go under the total. Losses to Madrid and AC Milan, plus the famous comeback against AC Milan in Istanbul all went over 2.5 total goals.
Both teams have also been afforded the opportunity to rest players in the buildup. Real Madrid have been clear league champions for weeks, with Carlo Ancelotti rotating nearly his entire squad in the La Liga run-in. While Liverpool have not been afforded the same luxury, manager Jurgen Klopp still has employed a regular dose of squad changeover to keep players fresh. Liverpool's Fabinho is expected to be back and healthy, while Real Madrid's older veterans will have rejuvenated legs.
For a late-season European final with the game's most coveted trophy on the line, 2.5 total goals is a high bar to clear, and there's not much value on this selection either. But in massive tilts like this, real value is always hard to come by. Go with the result you think most likely, and ignore the odds.
Pick: Over 2.5 total goals (-145 on DraftKings)
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid prop: First team to score
If Real Madrid have one glaring weakness this season, it's starting slow.
Across their six Champions League knockout matches, Real Madrid conceded first five times — twice to Man City, once to Chelsea, and twice to PSG.
It's happened in recent big La Liga matches, too: Madrid conceded a first-half penalty to third-placed Atletico Madrid in the early-May derby and couldn't muster a comeback. They saw fourth-placed Sevilla go 2-0 up before the break in mid-April prior to mounting a three-goal comeback. Second-placed Barcelona bagged a pair before halftime in the 4-0 demolition in mid-March, and sixth-placed Real Sociedad got a 10th minute goal before Madrid shook off the cobwebs for a 4-1 win.
If anything, Real Madrid have trademarked the comeback mentality, with remarkable fightbacks in all three knockout series. The incredible turnaround against Man City even had the legendary Lionel Messi dropping expletives in disbelief.
Liverpool have also shown early weaknesses of late, with quick slips against Southampton, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton in league play, as well as Villarreal in the Champions League semifinals. But a look at the club's year-long track record shows that's more of a late-season blip than anything else.
Prior to the second leg against Villarreal, Liverpool had scored first in four of its five knockout matches, and five of its six group stage games. Big Premier League matches were no different, scoring first in the Man City game at Anfield back in October, in the draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in early January, and obviously all four shutout victories over Arsenal and Man United. In fact, Tottenham were the only team in the league this season to do the "score first double" over Liverpool, forcing the Reds to come from behind in both draws.
The betting trends say that the Premier League side should be the first to find the back of the net, but that goal will most certainly not signal the game is over.
Prop kicker: Liverpool to score first (-155)
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid prop: Player goalscorer
While Liverpool are likely to come out of the gates with pressure, Real Madrid will no doubt lie in wait.
Karim Benzema is one of the hottest strikers in the world at the moment, and while he was held off the board in Madrid's La Liga finale against Real Betis, that should only make Benzema hungrier.
Incredibly, the last time Benzema went multiple consecutive appearances without scoring was all the way back in late October, when he saw back-to-back blanks against Barcelona and Osasuna in La Liga play.
Since, every single time Benzema has failed to find the back of the net, he made amends the very next match. Additionally, Benzema has scored in all but two of his Champions League appearances this season, having bagged at least one in each of his last five, with an incredible 10 goals across that span.
If you're giving me plus odds on the most in-form finisher in the world, I'm taking them.
Prop kicker: Karim Benzema to score anytime (+125 on DraftKings)
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid high-risk/high-reward flier: Ibrahima Konate goal
One of the biggest surprises of the season for Liverpool is Ibrahima Konate's center-back play. Jurgen Klopp has deployed Konate along the back line mainly for matches in knockout competitions, and he's been simply sensational. He's the likely starter over Joel Matip as Klopp looks to keep the faith in his players, sticking to the timeshare already established — although this is one to wait on placing until lineups are confirmed, just to be sure.
Not only does Konate provide a rare combination of both pace and aerial ability, but he also crops up in front of goal a lot. Konate has taken at least one shot in six of his last seven Champions League appearances, all coming in a row after failing to register one in his first game against Porto in the group stage. He's also registered one in two of his last three Premier League appearances.
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid betting odds
Odds via DraftKings (USA), Sports Interaction (Canada), and SkyBet (UK)
Liverpool, having bulldozed their way through the Champions League and proven to be a dominant force on multiple fronts this season, is the clear favorite. But the betting market is definitely not counting out Real Madrid.
The Reds are considered half-goal favorites, but Real Madrid are at minus odds on the spread, showing just how close this matchup is expected to be. Such is often the case in high-profile showdowns such as this where the two teams are both considered powerhouse sides.
The betting markets also project plenty of goals in this match, with both teams expected to score, and the over 2.5 total goals the favorite.
That would mark a break from recent trends, as the Champions League final often proves to be a cagey affair between two teams looking to avoid committing the big mistake. The last three Champions League finals have seen just four total goals scored, and one side has been held scoreless in all three.
Liverpool Win (reg)
Real Madrid Win (reg)
to score Y / N
-170 / +125
-159 / +101
-163 / +120
Over / Under
-140 / +105
-150 / +108
-138 / +100
Real Madrid +0.5
Liverpool to win title
Real Madrid to win title
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