UEFA Champions League

The View From Spain: Real Madrid stat-pack & 33/1 bet in Champions League final

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti
Can Ancelotti lift the trophy once again?

Ahead of the UEFA Champions League final, Jamie Kemp digs into Real Madrid's credentials ahead of another European date with destiny...

  • Real Madrid arrive to Wembley on 25-game unbeaten run

  • Showpiece event is made for Vinicius and Bellingham

  • Toni Kroos' last club game can be a memorable one



Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid
Saturday, 20:00
Live on TNT Sports 1

Real Madrid pose a formidable threat

Real Madrid come into the 2024 final with overwhelming pedigree in European football, but their current form makes them equally as daunting a prospect for Borussia Dortmund.

The only team they've lost to this season are city rivals Atletico Madrid (twice), while they're unbeaten in 25 matches since suffering the most recent of those defeats in the Spanish Super Cup back in January. Indeed, Real Madrid have only lost two of the 18 games they've been behind in this season, showing a remarkably ability to flip the script even on the rare occasions they do find themselves pegged back.

What's more, Los Blancos might be stronger health-wise for the final than they have been all season in Europe. They're expected to be able to field their 'gala XI' as it's known, with Thibaut Courtois now back to fitness - and not to mention, playing incredibly well in the test games he's played to prepare for the showpiece.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are heavily favoured at 2/71.29 to lift the UEFA Champions League on Saturday, although if you're confident in their dominance on the big stage you can get them to win to nil on the evening at 15/82.88 for some more value.

On the other hand, a surprise victory for Borussia Dortmund can be found at 7/24.50 if you believe in their capacity to do so in normal time, and Betfair's Match Odds 90 market will make you a winner if Dortmund are leading at 90:00, even if they don't actually go on to win.

That could be important too, as Real Madrid are the kings of the remontada and they often leave it late with their comebacks. The Spanish champions have already come from behind to win four matches in the competition this term, while only Barcelona in 1999-2000 and Real Madrid themselves in 2016-17 (five each) have ever had more such victories in a single campaign in the UEFA Champions League.


Ones to Watch

Real Madrid are the big favourites to lift the trophy on Saturday, and let's take a look at some of the pertinent names who can help them do so...

The Shooter

Vinicius Junior has averaged 3.6 shots per 90 for Real Madrid across all competitions this season, and his minutes per goal ratio of 130 this term is his best in a single campaign for the club to date.

The Brazilian can be found at 13/102.30 to get on the scoresheet, while he's at 7/52.40 to land 2+ shots on target, having done so at least twice in eight of his last 12 starts for the club.

The Creator

Only Luka Modric (3.1) has created more chances per 90 than Toni Kroos (2.6) for Real Madrid this season, although the former's average is slightly inflated given his number of sub cameos across all competitions this term.

With nine assists to his name for los Blancos in 2023-24, along with his customary threat from set pieces, Kroos is 3/14.00 to produce an assist in what will be his last ever club appearance.

The Passer

Creator, passer... however you label him, Toni Kroos is the gold standard of distribution in European football, even when he's on the cusp of retirement.

When the big occasions roll around, Kroos is the master of events for Real Madrid and his calming presence will be sorely missed in coming years. Pairing an assist along with 90+ passes in the final (averaged 91 per 90 in the competition this term) gets you a 5/16.00 double.

The Fouler

Dani Carvajal has averaged 1.9 fouls per 90 in the UEFA Champions League this season, second only to Eduardo Camavinga (2.7) among Real Madrid players.

With a likely match-up with the speedy Karim Adeyemi in store for the Spaniard, Carvajal to concede 2+ fouls in the game at 2/13.00 looks a shrewd option.


Jude Bellingham and Vinicius to ignite the final

If this turns out to be another game in which Borussia Dortmund mount a fierce defensive resistance - as they have done throughout the tournament - Real Madrid are going to have plenty of initiative on their plate. Two players who'll need no invitation get amongst it in that scenario will be Jude Bellingham and Vinicius Junior.

While the former will face off against his old side at Wembley, providing an extra jolt of intensity, Vinicius' production in Europe over the last three seasons has been nothing short of outstanding - contributing more goals and assists (31) than any other player since 2021-22.

When the bright lights are on, the pair of them come to play. And if you can be tempted by a speculative bet on the night, then the odds boost listed below involving the two looks particularly interesting to me.

Jude Bellingham and Vinicius Junior to have 2+ shots on target and to be fouled 2+ times each can be found at 33/134.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook. Both players have been fouled over two times per 90 across all competitions for Real Madrid this term, and they go into the final level on 23 goals each for the season for los Blancos.




Recommended bets

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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.