UEFA Champions League

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid: Back 4/1 Bet Builder in Champions League final

Carlo Ancelotti is gunning for a fifth Champions League
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti

Sky Sports' betting expert Lewis Jones - aka 'Jones Knows' - has angles aplenty to attack in the Champions League final with a 4/15.00 Bet Builder leading his punting plan of attack...


Champions League Superboost

Real Madrid are hunting their 15th European Cup/Champions League trophy and should they be successful, they will have won more than double the number of the next best side, which is AC Milan on seven.

Standing in their way is Borussia Dortmund, who are appearing in just their third such final, having won the competition in 1996-97 & lost - at Wembley - to Bayern Munich back in 2012-13. Madrid's European dominance and the odds suggest this will be a routine evening for Carlo Ancelotti's men, so Betfair have decided to offer up a Superboost that is likely to reflect the state of the game.

Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel has been nothing short of sensational in the Champions League this season, saving 84% of the shots on target he has faced in the competition (42/50). Opta tells us that based on the quality of chances he has faced on target, the average 'keeper would have conceded 14 goals, compared to Kobel's actual total of just seven (excluding own goals).

Not only that, Kobel has the most Champions League clean sheets to his name with six, with his 42 saves averaging out at 3.8 per game in the competition this season.

The Yellow Wall indeed.

The thing is, Dortmund do have a lot to thank Kobel for getting them this far, as of all the sides that qualified for the knockout stages this season, only Napoli (16.9) face more shots per game than Dortmund's 15.3, so Kobel has been kept incredibly busy.

With Real expected to dominate the ball and take the game to Dortmund - who will be happy to sit off - we can expect a high number of shots from the Spanish champions - just ask the guys on the Football... Only Bettor Podcast.

Only three sides have averaged more shots on target per game than Real Madrid in this season's Champions League (5.7), and Ancelotti's men are primed to pepper the Dortmund goal once again at Wembley.

Betfair have boosted the Dortmund goalkeeper - which includes whomever may replace Kobel should he get injured - to make 3 or more saves vs Real Madrid to 1/12.00 - up from 1/21.50!


Saturday 1 June, 20:00 kick-off
Live on TNT Sports

Not many people saw this Champions League final coming. But now it's here - it's one to savour.

Borussia Dortmund relish the underdog tag. Real Madrid relish being the kings of Europe.

Wembley is in for treat. A spectacular explosion of yellow and white will be shown around the world.

Dortmund's task is a gigantic one though - and one that isn't really portrayed in the outright markets. Edin Terzić's side are 3.953/1 on the Betfair Exchange to lift the trophy - I'm not even sure I'd be interested at double those odds. Real Madrid are 1.331/3 - a price which paints the picture perfectly of the overwhelming nature of their favouritism.

King Carlo is savage in finals

Dortmund are a moments team in that they have defied the data to become Champions League finalists.

Outclassed in knockout first legs against PSV and Atletico Madrid, they managed to stay in both ties and get the job done at home. Then they took data defiance to another level across the semi-final with PSG, conceding 4.94 worth of non-penalty expected goals without conceding. Remarkable.

It's been a common theme across their campaign. According to the expected goals data, Dortmund should have conceded 22.94 goals in this Champions League campaign, they have conceded just nine. It means they head to the final with the backdrop of a per 90 expected goals against figure of 1.91. It's the highest for a team reaching the Champions League final on record since 2010-11 when Opta started to collate the expected goals against data.

For some context, Man City average across their Champions League 10 games this season was an xG against of 0.69 whilst Burnley - relegated from the Premier League - boasted a better per 90 xG against average of 1.89 across the campaign than Dortmund's.

As a punter that firmly believes it's very difficult for teams to run away from their expected goals process in the long-term, it's hard to make any sort of positive case for Dortmund victory up against this juggernaut of a Real Madrid outfit with a master of the cup final in charge.

Carlo Ancelotti's record in Champions League or domestic cup finals is played nine, won the trophy eight times. The only blot on his copybook was Liverpool's extraordinary comeback in Istanbul when AC Milan raced into a 3-0 lead only to be pegged back lose on penalties.

He now stands one win away from a fifth Champions League win as a coach. No-one has won four, let alone five and he also has the tag of becoming the first coach to win the title in all five major European leagues. There is an argument to suggest Ancelotti is now the greatest coach we've ever seen in football.

The Italian doesn't win finals turning on the style tap though. Since that defeat to Liverpool in Istanbul, there is evidence to suggest he's taken a much more cautious approach to finals - and it's worked, winning all six. The total match goals average of those six finals in 90 minutes has been 2.1 goals per game - and all of them went under 3.5 goal line.

This match is screaming at me to go down a similar low scoring path.

Regular readers will know opposing goals in matches at Wembley is a sustainable long-term betting strategy, almost to the point it's an automatic play no matter the teams on show.

In the last 38 domestic matches played at Wembley, the average total goals per 90 stands at a miserly 1.94 in normal time. And after both the FA Cup final and the Championship playoff final went under 3.5 goals, still only four of those 38 games have gone above the 3.5 goals line.

Under 3.5 goals on the Sportsbook is 4/91.44 with under 2.5 trading at 6/52.20. The last five Champions League finals have only seen six goals scored in total so the Wembley factor added to what seems a new trend for this final being a low scoring one, certainly makes backing the under goal line a sensible ploy.

Backing a Madrid win in 90 minutes and the under 3.5 goal line looks a winner in waiting to my eyes but I'm keen to add further bulk to the price by adding another leg in the cards market.


Yellows for the yellows!

Dortmund to be shown more cards than Real Madrid looks a huge runner to my maths at 11/102.11 with the Betfair Sportsbook - and I'm willing to add that to the Real Madrid win and under goals line to bring forward a 4/15.00 Bet Builder to have a swipe at.

Dortmund have only drawn 15 yellow cards off the opposition this season in 12 Champions League games - bringing an average of just 1.25 cards drawn per 90. It's the second lowest average of any team in the competition this season. They are not a team that possess players with a high card-drawing average.

And when you compare the two teams, Real Madrid possess a greater threat when it comes to the ability to draw bookings off the opposition. Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Junior, Edouardo Camavinga and Rodrygo have drawn 55 bookings between them this season across all competitions.

That's a very healthy strike rate when converting that to bookings drawn per game - Vinicius Jnr for example is getting someone booked every 190 minutes of football. That sort of combined strike rate just from those four players added to a likely gamestate of Real Madrid seeing the majority of the ball, has to make the likelihood of Dortmund players picking up more cards than Madrid a real runner.

The bet is perfectly backable in a single but to add some beef, I'm happy to advise playing the 4/15.00 on offer for Madrid to win in 90 minutes, under 3.5 goals and Dortmund to be shown more yellow cards. Be lucky.

Follow Lewis Jones' Premier League tips and predictions across Sky Sports each week.


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