All the signs would indicate that tomorrow’s Champions League final should be a tight one. In personnel terms, Real Madrid haven’t changed too often in personnel from that success, a hard earned one in extra time that was as much down to physical stamina after a draining effort from Atletico, who had been 1-0 up until stoppage time.
This year’s game could well follow a similar pattern. Real Madrid had over 60% possession (it was 63.5% during the game) in 2014 and that night Atletico’s watertight defence saw them shift the ball wide to Angel Di Maria and Gareth Bale on many occasions. Di Maria, a central influence in their campaign, eventually ended up taking the Man of the match awards and it’s not hard to imagine a similar award being bestowed upon Gareth Bale tonight. A scorer two years ago, generally considered his coming of age as a Madrid player, Bale is sure to be tasked with trying to get down the flanks and his industrious efforts should have him in the thick of things through the 90; One would imagine that he could find his muse in extra time as well like he did when the two last met.
An excellent header of the ball and popular with the fans, he seems an obvious man of the match contender ahead of shorter priced contenders Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezemann. Of the Atletico players, Diego Godin, scorer two years ago, seems an obvious candidate, and there has to respect for Sergio Ramos at 20/1.
Start googling Sergio Ramos and one of the autocomplete results will be ‘Sergio Ramos Yellow Card King’ and there’s no lack of evidence to support that claim. Ramos has 13 yellow cards this season, and has been booked in four of the last five that he’s played against his rivals. Back him for a yellow card. Consider doing the same at better prices for Diego Godin, booked in three of the last five clashes.
Bets for extra time have been recommended, but the 2014 final was the only matchup of the seven that have gone past 90 minutes not to go to penalties. Either side to win on penalties is a tasty 5/1 cover and the 11’s for Real may tempt some who would be inclined to try and cover things
1 pt Gareth Bale Man of the Match (8/1 Paddy Power)
1 pt Sergio Ramos to be Man Of The Match (20/1 Bet365, Paddy Power)
2 pts Segio Ramos to be shown a card (10/11 general)
1 pt Either side to win on penalties (5/1 general)