The 32 teams that started the Champions League group stage have been whittled down to just two and on June 3 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, either Juventus or Real Madrid will be crowned champions of Europe. Who will win the 2017 Champions League? Read on for some betting insight.
While the best teams in Europe have been battling it out in domestic campaigns, they have also been pitted against each other in what is widely regarded as the most elite competition in world soccer. Juventus and Real Madrid have made it through the group stages and three two-legged knockout ties but only one of them will lift the Champions League trophy.
Live odds for Juventus vs. Real Madrid
Champions League betting - from in the competition
Those who regularly bet on the Champions League will know there is a major difference between betting on domestic leagues and betting on a continental club competition - Leicester City’s struggles in the Premier League but success in the Champions League is recent evidence of this theory.
Both Juventus and Real Madrid were unbeaten in the group stage, but Real Madrid finished second in their group and conceded 10 goals (the most of any side to reach the knockout stage), while Juventus won their group and only conceded two goals (the least of any side to reach the knockout stage).
Real Madrid’s frequency and consistency in finding the back of the net is the main contributor to the Spanish side being a narrow favourite.
The Round of 16 was fairly straightforward for both clubs and despite coming up against two of the tournament favourites in the quarter-finals (Barcelona and Bayern Munich) both Juventus and Real Madrid reached the semi-finals without a problem. The Old Lady swept the free-scoring Monaco aside in their semi-final whilst Los Blancos beat local rivals Atletico Madrid in theirs.
The attacking threat of Real Madrid
Since taking over as manager in 2016, Zinedine Zidane has made some drastic changes at Real Madrid. Although the likes of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema have continued to grab the headlines, players such as Kroos, Casemiro and Carvajal have been a revelation over the past two seasons.
A newfound midfield sturdiness has been crucial to Real Madrid’s La Liga triumph this year but it is still their attacking prowess that stands out as their main threat - they are the top scorers in this year’s Champions League with 32 goals and only Barcelona have eclipsed their average of 2.8 goals per game in domestic soccer across the top five leagues in Europe.
Real Madrid have scored in 64 consecutive matches and, as expected, it is Cristiano Ronaldo who leads the goal scoring charts at Los Blancos. Ronaldo has scored 25 goals in 29 appearances in La Liga and 10 goals in 12 appearances in the Champions League - his all-time record in the competition now stands at 103 goals.
Real Madrid’s frequency and consistency in finding the back of the net is the main contributor to the Spanish side being a narrow favourite heading into the Champions League final - bettors following Real Madrid will need Ronaldo and co. to stretch their goal scoring record to 65 consecutive games on June 3.
The defensive resilience of Juventus
If there is one team in the world that can stop Real Madrid scoring, it is probably Juventus. The Italian side are renowned for their organised and disciplined backline and this season their defence has been virtually impenetrable.
Juventus have only conceded three goals in the UCL and could equal the record set by Ajax in 1995/96 for conceding the fewest goals whilst playing every game in the competition.
Massimiliano Allegri has been in charge at Juventus since 2014 and his tactics of building from the back have seen the Old Lady win seven major trophies in his tenure (three Serie A titles, three Coppa Italias and one Supercoppa Italiana) - Juventus also finished as runner-up up in the 2014/15 Champions League under Allegri.
Juve conceded just 27 goals in the Serie A this season but it is in the Champions League that their defensive record has been most impressive - they have only conceded three goals and could equal the record set by Ajax in 1995/96 for conceding the fewest goals whilst playing every game in the competition.
Is previous success important in Champions League betting?
Despite winning the title this year, Real Madrid have struggled in La Liga in recent years. They have, however, enjoyed success in the Champions League of late - Los Blancos have won the competition twice in the last three years and are the most successful club in the tournament’s history with 11 titles.
Juventus, on the other hand, have only progressed further than the quarter-finals twice since the turn of the century (reaching the final in 2002/03 and 2014/15) and last won the competition back in 1995/96.
A value bet in the 2017 Champions League final
As you would expect for the final of such a prestigious tournament, Juventus vs. Real Madrid is a tough one to call. With two completely different styles of play, it is a question of whether Juve can hold firm and sneak a goal or whether Real Madrid’s attacking threat will prove too much.
Juventus have shown all season they are difficult to breakdown and even if Real Madrid manage to do what very few have teams have done (score against Juve in the Champions League), it is unlikely that they will do it two or three times over. Under 2 and 2.5 goals is available at 1.877* and is perhaps the most sensible bet to make.
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