Champions League Final Preview - The Gambling Times

Champions League Final Preview

Kiev stages the biggest game in world football on Saturday as Real Madrid look to continue making history as they seek a third successive Champions League title against Liverpool.

Real made history last season when they became the first team in the Champions League era to successfully defend the title, and now they have the chance to become the first team since Bayern Munich in the 1970s.

Madrid arrive in Ukraine as favourites to claim a 13th European crown, and coach Zinedine Zidane admits their achievement has been remarkable.

“It’s very difficult to play in one final,” he said. “Two is very hard, and three is just craziness.”

But Zidane is full of respect for their opponents, adding: “All the talk is about the three up front or that they are weaker at the back….no, they deserve to be in the final just like us, they are a close group.”

Jurgen Klopp comes into the game in confident mood, and hoping Liverpool can add to their proud record in this competition and claim their first Champions League since 2005.

“With Liverpool we only play in European classics,” said Klopp.

“We’ve played plenty of really big games and we’ve won many of them. It’s obvious that it’s possible to win important trophies at this club.”

See below for a preview on the game, including predictions from former England, Crystal Palace and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and BoyleSports’s Lawrence Lyons.

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Real Madrid 19:45 Liverpool
NSC Olimpiyskiy

TEAM NEWS: Real Madrid have the benefit of a fully fit squad, with Zinedine Zidane’s main selection concerns being who starts in the front-three alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. He could go with the BBC combination with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, or go with youngsters Marcos Asensio and Lucas Vazquez. Liverpool do have injury concerns and are already without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, but they are hopeful that Emre Can, James Milner and Adam Lallana will all be available. Nathaniel Clyne could also be in contention to start ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
KEY FACT: Real Madrid are trying to win a record third successive Champions League
MATCH ODDS: Real 5/4 Draw 11/4 Liverpool 2/1
BoyleSports Pick: Real Madrid to win & Both Teams to Score @12/5
ANDY SAYS: I can see goals and plenty of them here, Liverpool to win on penalties after a draw…3-3
GRAEME SAYS: Real Madrid are the strongest team for me, I see them winning…3-1
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Cristiano Ronaldo – He will step up, and still worthy of investment

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