2016 UEFA Champions League Final

27th May 2016

If last week’s FA Cup Final rekindled memories of an earlier match back in 1990 then Saturday’s Champions League Final has a much more recent trophy deciding fixture to refer back to. Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid clashed in the Champions League final in 2014 and now lock horns again two years on with Atletico eager for revenge.

The 2014 showdown saw outsiders Atletico Madrid lead for most of the 90 minutes after a Diego Godin header put the outsiders ahead in the first half. It took until the 93rd minute for Real Madrid to respond and after breaking Atletico hearts late on in the 90 they kicked on and put three more goals past Diego Simeone’s shattered side. Atletico are playing down the idea that that game will be in their minds this time round but it surely will add fuel to their fire and hunger to their bellies when they consider events of two years ago.

Atleti were once again widely written off for this competition at the start of the season and found themselves further down the betting than a few of the English sides but they’ve showed steely grit to make it to the Milan final.

A fairly comfortable group stage was negotiated with aplomb before they needed penalties to dispose of PSV in the Last 16. Perhaps they took their foot off the pedal a little during that tie as they swiftly pulled their socks up for the Quarter-Final meeting with Barcelona. A priceless away goal in the first leg and an epic 2-0 win in the return saw Atletico knock out the defending champions. The Spanish side then faced another massive test in the semi-finals with Bayern Munich their opponents but a mixture of staunch defending and electric attacking saw them go through on away goals.

Despite winning just two points more than Atletico in La Liga Real scored 47 more goals than them. This pattern is replicated in the Champions League with Real Madrid arriving in Milan with 27 competition goals to their name compared to Atletico’s 16. This in essence sums up Saturday’s final. The attacking splurge of Real Madrid against the wilful defensive spirit of Atletico.

During recent meetings it’s been Simeone’s side who have come out on top with eight of the last 11 meetings going Under 2.5 Goals. Unsurprisingly Atletico have avoided 90 minute defeat in 10 of those fixtures. Remarkable dominance.

Real’s role on Saturday is to break down that defence but there’s nothing to suggest in recent fixtures that they’re capable of that and in the last few weeks the goals have been less flowing than usual. Zinedine Zidane’s side have scored just seven goals in their last six matches and breached a poor Manchester City side just once in the semi-finals. Add in injury concerns over their star player Cristian Ronaldo and you have to fear for Real.

Atletico have kept 15 clean sheets in their last 21 Champions League games and in three of their last five matches against Saturday’s opponents. One feels a compelling case to back them building up.

So despite dominating the head-to-heads and seeing off superior sides than Real in the road to the final it’s Atletico who go into this game as 3.08 outsiders with Zidane’s side 2.39 with 188 BET. It’s a betting opportunity not to be missed.

Atleti look worthy of backing at 2.25 on 0 in the Asian Handicap market as the game could go into extra time like we saw in 2014. The Correct Score market opens up with knockout matches involving Simeone’s usually very tightly poised. A 1-0 Atletico win appeals at 7.7 (remember Real failed to score away from the Bernabeu against Wolfsburg and Manchester City) and a 0-0 draw must not be discounted at 7.1.

This final looks a clash of styles but all evidence points to the outsiders being much more stoic than the favourites. With Atletico a more rewarding betting prospect all faith should be invested in them.

188 BET Champions League Final Best Bets

Atletico Madrid +0 Asian Handicap v Real Madrid (2.25)

Atletico Madrid to win 1-0 (7.70)

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid 0-0 Draw (7.10)

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