Form Labs Weekender

COURTESYFOOTBALL FORM LABS

2017 Champions League Final - Real Madrid v Juventus, Sat 19:45

In 2015 Juve were without defensive linchpin Chiellini for the final but they have a fully fit squad this time and will be boosted by the return of Khedira after injury. Juve will need the German’s industry as they surely won’t have it their own way against Real’s midfield three of Casemiro, Kroos and Modric, who will fancy their chances of overrunning them in the middle of the park.

For Real, Pepe is likely to miss out once again and Gareth Bale is lacking match fitness, though Isco has excelled this season in the Welshman’s absence and so Zidane shouldn’t be too concerned about things at that end of the pitch. However, their record against top-five ranked sides that are below them in our gradings is just W2-D3-L2 since 2014/15, with their only clean sheets in these games coming against city rivals Atletico and their record in the competition this season suggests they may struggle to shut Juve out.

When playing sides above them in our rankings Juve are W2-D5-L2 under Allegri and while they shut out Barca this time around, both teams scored in all five of their other meetings with Barca, Bayern and Real in that period. Indeed, the fact that the Old Lady’s recent games against Europe’s elite have tended to produce goals and the general trend in recent Champions League finals - both teams have found the net in 10 of the last 12 - means that both teams to score is a standout selection at 2.0, an option we prefer to Over 2.5 Goals as a result of the high number of 1-1 draws in recent finals.

Since 2001 there have been 10 UCL finals where the higher ranked side was 4-10 points better off in our gradings (Real are 7.6 above Juve this time) and the higher ranked has gone W4-D6-L0 in 90 minutes and lifted the trophy on nine occasions. Given the excellent results of higher ranked sides, Real look a fair proposition at 1.84 on the Asian Handicap (Draw No Bet).

We certainly expect Real to get over the line eventually, as they did in extra-time in 2014 and then on penalties last term, and they look a big price to lift the trophy. For those looking to side with Juve we’d advise a punt on them emulating Chelsea and Liverpool and winning on penalties, which is a 13.0 shot.

Recommendations: Both Teams to Score Yes at 2.0
Real Madrid to Lift the Trophy at 1.91

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