Champions League Final

The showpiece final of the European season comes from under the roof at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and it’s a mouth-watering prospect with Juventus facing Real Madrid.

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The Spanish giants are already the most successful side in this competition with 11 trophies to their name and they’ve won the last five finals they’ve reached, including beating Juventus in the 1997/98 final.

It’s been more heartache than joy for Juventus when reaching the final. They’ve done so on eight occasions but have only won twice – in 1985 and 1996.


Champions League Final Stats

I’ve done some digging through the last 16 finals since the turn of the millennium to see what trends are on offer to point us in the direction of some good winners.

 

Goals

46 goals scored in those finals with finals averaging around 2.87 goals per game.
19 goals scored in the first half.
24 goals scored in the second half.
3 extra-time goals scored.
5 penalties awarded – 4 scored and 1 missed.

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Corners

There have been 202 corners in the last 16 finals, which works out at an average of 12.63 corners per game.
The last five finals have seen totals of: 21, 14, 18, 14 & 13.

 

Cards

57 cards have been shown in 90 minutes – 56 yellows and one red.
The finals average 3.5 cards per game.
Jens Lehmann remains the only player to be sent-off in 90 minutes in the last 16 finals.
The 7 games that have gone to extra-time have seen 16 yellows and one red – an average of 2.14 cards as tiredness sets in.
Didier Drogba the only man to be dismissed in extra-time.

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Head-to-Head Record

There have been ten games in the Champions League between these sides since 2003:

Outcomes:

Real Madrid win: 3
Draws: 3
Juventus: 4

In those games Real Madrid have scored 12 goals compared to Juventus who have netted 16 in those games.

Five of the last six Champions League meetings have seen both teams scoring with three of those results seeing Juventus triumph 2-1.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored five goals in the last four meetings between these two sides.

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A penalty has been scored in each of the last four meetings – two for each side.

Giorgio Chiellini was sent off back in 2013 and is the only player to see red in he last six meetings.


Road to Cardiff

Goals:

Real Madrid Juventus
   
Goals For: 32 Goals For: 21
Goals Against: 17 Goals Against: 3
   
First Half Goals: 19 First Half Goals: 11
Second Half Goals: 27 Second Half Goals: 13
Extra-Time Goals: 3 Extra-Time Goals: N/A

 

It doesn’t come as much surprise to see that Real Madrid have outscored Juventus or that Juventus have conceded fewer goals than their Spanish counterparts.

Despite being able to label this game, rightly or wrongly, as a game of strong attack vs strong defence there doesn’t seem to be that ‘cat and mouse’ scenario, especially given the display Juventus have put in beating Barcelona and Monaco to reach the final.

Cristiano Ronaldo has a good record of scoring against the Old Lady of Turin and the Portuguese magician currently sits on 10 goals in the competition – one behind Lionel Messi.

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Corners:

Getting to the final has seen Real Madrid matches total up 126 corners compared to Juventus’ 120 corners, so that works out at 10.5 corners per Real Madrid game and 10 corners per Juventus match.

Break that down into the amount of corners each side have taken then you’ll see Madrid at 78 corners and Juventus at 58 corners. Understandably that shows the Spanish side average more corners at 6.5 compared to 4.8 for Juventus and with Los Blancos as the more attacking of the two then that is an area you can utilise.

 

Cards:

There were 50 cards in Real Madrid’s 12 games reaching this stage, at an average of 4.16 cards per game.

That figure was 59 cards in Juventus matches with an average of 4.91 cards per game.

When you break that down into the number of cards received then Madrid have collected just 15 cards, at an average of 1.25 cards per game compared to Juventus’ 26 cards, which is an average of 2.16 cards per game.

Mario Lemina is the only player on either side to have been sent off in the competition this season.

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These players have all picked up three yellow cards so far: Sergio Ramos, Mario Mandžukić, Leonardo Bonucci and Sami Khedira.

A good time to introduce the whistler from Germany and he shouldn’t have any problem with the laws being a lawyer.

Felix Brych is in charge and in four Champions League games this season he averages 3.6 cards.

In his native league of the Bundesliga he’s shown 84 yellows and one red card, at an average of 4.7 cards per game.

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He refereed Juventus when they travelled to Portugal to take on Porto. He showed four yellows and a red, dismissing Porto’s Alex Telles with Stephan Lichtsteiner the only Juventus name to enter his notebook.

The German hasn’t taken charge of a Real Madrid game since 2014/15 when they beat city rivals Atletico Madrid 1-0.

 

Half-Time:

Juventus have yet to be behind at the interval in the Champions League this season. They’ve been ahead on six occasions and level on the other six.

Their leading HT scorelines have been split 1-0 and 2-0 while they’ve been locked at 0-0 at the break on five of six games.

It’s a more mixed record for Real Madrid who’ve lead five times at the break with three 1-0 scorelines.

Los Blancos have been level four times seeing 0-0 and 1-1 scorelines twice while the Spanish giants have been behind three times at the break trailing 1-0 twice and 2-1 once.


Bets:

The stats above can be used as a pointer for some good betting opportunities, so here is some of what they can lead you to find.

From the perspective that Real Madrid are likely to see more of the ball in their attacking set up then look towards corners. They average more than Juventus in the competition, so that straight away leads to Real Madrid Most Corners (8/11 – Stan James).

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In eight of 12 matches so far Madrid have taken six or more corners and if Juventus do score the first goal then they’ll have to go for it. They have plenty of flair and in attacking areas plus with the likes of Marcelo and Carvajal getting forward at full back then they could utilise wide areas, so 6 or More Real Madrid Corners (EVS – Sky Bet) looks a big player.

The total match corners bar has been set at 10.5 by Bet365 and you can expect that to go over for a few reasons.

Nine of 12 Real Madrid games have seen 11 or more corners while that figure is just four for Juventus but a number of them have fallen flat on the ten mark, so the Asian corner market might be the way to go.

With goals expected, Madrid vulnerable at the back and the Spanish club threatening down the wings you’d expect them to rack up most corners and if they do that then the count will be Over 10.5 Corners (EVS – Bet365).

On the cards front again Felix Brych is the ideal man for the 4-6 cards market but I’d be leaning more towards Juventus Most Booking Points (21/20 – William Hill) with them having picked up 11 more in the competition.

Not only that but Real Madrid are tidy in possession with an 88% passing completion rate, so that could frustrate their Italian opponents, especially if Juventus are chasing the game.

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These two sides shouldn’t let us down in terms of entertainment and the tendency for Both Teams to Score (21/20 – Betfair) when these sides met can continue.

It’s landed in five of the last six competitive matches, add another if you want to count a friendly, plus there are plenty of goalscorers on the pitch.

Ronaldo has five against Juventus and is chasing the golden boot, so he’s the obvious player to look at to score. If the anytime price of 6/4 (32Red) is too short then look at him to either To Score A Header (9/1) or To Score From Outside the Area (10/1 – Sky Bet).

Isco has been getting many of the headlines of late, which he deserves, and he is likely to keep the now match fit Gareth Bale out of the side plus the Spaniard scored in the semi-final second leg.

Juventus have Paulo Dybala and ex-Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain to call upon – that pairing has 44 goals between them in Serie A and the Champions League this season.

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Plenty of bookies do the special bets and one that I do quite like is this one: Ronaldo to score, 5+ corners each team and Chiellini and Ramos to be carded (33/1 – Sky Bet).

If nailing my colours to the mast then I’d be leaning more towards Juventus. Plenty of experience in the squad, strong at the back and as they’ve shown are clinical in attack, which could find the best way to Real’s main problem – defending.

Despite Real having most possession it could see Juventus dropping deep to stop anything going over the top and in behind them. The Old Lady will defend narrowly but with plenty of bodies in the defensive areas can stifle this quality Madrid attack.

That means these are of interest to me too: Juventus to Lift the Trophy (EVS) or for the braver amongst us Juventus to Win & Both Teams to Score (11/2).

 

Advice:

Both Teams to Score (21/20 – Betfair)

6 or More Real Madrid Corners (EVS – Sky Bet)

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