Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris on Saturday night.
The Merseysiders fell agonisingly short in their pursuit of the Premier League title on Sunday afternoon. They came from behind to beat Wolves 3-1 at Anfield and at one stage it looked like they were going to pip Manchester City to the trophy.
The Citizens were 2-0 down at Aston Villa with less than 15 minutes to go and anything other than a win would have seen Liverpool crowned as champions. However, Pep Guardiola’s men staged a sensational comeback by scoring three goals in 6 minutes to win 3-2 and secure the title.
It was heartbreak for Jurgen Klopp’s side but they still have arguably the biggest prize in football to play for as they look to complete a cup treble. Liverpool have already won the League and FA Cup’s, and can secure a third trophy by winning the Champions League on Saturday.
However, that will be no easy task against Madrid. The Spanish giants won the La Liga title this season and have beaten Chelsea, PSG and Man City en route to the final so Liverpool know they’re in for a tough test.
The bookmakers are expecting a close game as well with Liverpool currently priced as the even money favourites to win inside 90 minutes at sites such as Fun88 while Madrid can be backed at 5/2. You can get odds of 5/2 on the match going to extra time if you think it will end all-square inside regulation time.
Liverpool are 8/15 to lift the trophy with Madrid 11/8 to secure their 14 Champions League. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the game going to extra time but we fancy Liverpool to edge it 2-1 – which can be backed at odds of 7/1.
Sadio Mane has been in sensational form in recent months and the Senegalese international looks a good bet to open the scoring at odds of 5/1. If we combine that with a 2-1 Liverpool win then the odds increase to 43/1.
Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of Thiago Alcantara after he limped off against Wolves on Sunday with an Achilles injury. Klopp feels the Spaniard won’t be fit in time for the final so it looks like Thiago is set to miss out.
Divock Origi is also expected to miss the trip to Paris due to a muscle injury but Fabinho is set to resume training this week as he looks to recover from a thigh injury. Joe Gomez should also be available despite a minor ankle knock.
As for Real Madrid, the major concern for them is David Alaba as the defender is facing a race against time to overcome an adductor injury.
This is likely to be a high quality final between two excellent sides. Madrid are formidable in European finals so you wouldn’t put it past them to do a job on Liverpool this weekend – especially if Karim Benzema continues his superb form in front of goal.
However, Liverpool are the stronger team overall and should have too much for the Spaniards. The Reds have the firepower to cause Madrid’s defence lots of problems and we think Liverpool will edge it 2-1 at the Stade de Frances.