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Real Madrid v Liverpool UEFA Champions League Final Match Preview and Predictions - Goals set to flow in Kiev

Rippa Staff 22 May 2018
  • Predictions for the UEFA Champions League final
  • Real Madrid v Liverpool kicks off at 04:45 AEST on Sunday, May 27

Will Liverpool’s dream European run culminate in UEFA Champions League glory in Kiev? Or can Real Madrid continue their recent dominance of the competition by winning it for the third season running?

We preview the showpiece Champions League final and predict that goals will flow.

Prediction


Match Preview


Real Madrid and Liverpool may have come up short in their quests to win their respective domestic titles this season, but these two teams are now just 90 minutes away from being crowned kings of European football in Kiev on May 26. The question is, who will it be?

We may as well start off with Real Madrid – after all, the Spanish giants have been the dominant force in this competition in recent years. Los Blancos have won the Champions League in three of the past four seasons, beating Atletico Madrid in 2014 and 2016 before thrashing Juventus 4-1 a year ago, and if they can lift this famous trophy at the end of the month they will become the first team to win Europe’s top club competition since it was rebranded back in the early 90s.

Liverpool, of course, are looking to deny Real Madrid a place in history and their run to this season’s final has been nothing short of impressive. The way they impressively dispatched of Manchester City in the quarter-finals sent shockwaves throughout Europe, and the goals continued to flow in the semi-finals as they rattled four past Roma to take their tally for the season to 40 – putting them 10 clear of their nearest rivals, final opponents Real Madrid. That attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane would give any defence nightmares – but will it be good enough to inspire the Reds to a first European crown since that famous night in Istanbul back in 2005?

That is a tough one to call. One the one hand, Liverpool should not fear anyone following their run to the final, but on the other hand, it is hard to go against a Real Madrid side that have shown repeatedly that they know how to get the job done in this competition. Their passage to the final may not have been smooth, but Real have already ousted Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich this time around and they have found ways to win in recent finals when things have not gone smoothly.

It is for those reasons that I am going to back the Spanish side for an historic third straight Champions League success on May 26. Real Madrid have been there and done it several times in recent years, and that experience is something that cannot be overlooked here.

My second selection is to back Over 3.5 Total Goals. These two clubs have already combined for 70 goals in this season’s Champions League and between them they boast the services of the top four goalscorers in the scoring charts heading into the final (Cristiano Ronaldo 15, Mohamed Salah 10, Roberto Firmino 10, Sadio Mane 9). With so much attacking talent on show there is almost certainly a recipe for goals, and the belief that the goals will flow is only strengthened by the fact that neither of these two teams are strong defensively. Between them they have only managed nine clean sheets in this competition, with most of Liverpool’s coming on home turf, so this season’s Champions League Final could turn out into a straightforward shootout!

And speaking of goals, my final bet for the 2018 Champions League Final is to back Cristiano Ronaldo to get his name on the scoresheet. The Portuguese’s limelight has been stolen by Mohamed Salah’s sensational form for Liverpool this season, but this will be the perfect opportunity form him to remind the football world why he has won the Ballon d’Or in each of the past two seasons, while also staking his claim to make it three-in-a-row in 2018. Ronaldo is the man for the big occasions and in club football they do not come any bigger than this – he has 15 Champions League goals to his name this season and number 16 could well come against Liverpool.

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Real Madrid v Liverpool UEFA Champions League Final Match Preview and Predictions - Goals set to flow in Kiev

UEFA Champions League tips and match preview as Real Madrid and Liverpool clash in the final in Kiev. Our predictions for who will lift the trophy.

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