Bet of the Day

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid: There's only one Vini J

A view of the Wembley arch ahead of the 2024 Champions League final
Wembley is Champions League ready

Ahead of the Champions League final, our football props column picks out a 10/1 shot which has landed in six of Vinicius Junior's last 11 starts for Real Madrid...

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid
Saturday 1 Jane, 20:00
Live on TNT Sports 1 & (free) on discovery+

Vinicius Junior scored the winner in the Champions League final two years ago as Real Madrid downed Liverpool.

He netted twice in the semi-final against Bayern Munich in this season's competition, meaning he's scored at that stage three years in a row.

And back in January, the Brazilian bagged a hat-trick as Real destroyed Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final.

In short, he's a big-game player, one who now has 23 goals for the season, putting him joint top scorer at the club with Jude Bellingham, although Vinicius' goals have come in three fewer appearances. Another here would make 2023/24 his best-ever season in goalscoring terms.

Leg 1: Vinicius Junior to score

Since the start of March, he's netted 11 times in 11 starts and here he faces a team who have reached the final despite having pretty awful underlying defensive data.

Much was made of how the woodwork saved Dortmund, time and again, in the semi-finals against PSG and those near-misses have helped produce an expected goals against (xGA) figure in the competition which is way higher than the number of goals they've actually conceded.

That xGA number across UCL campaign is up at 22.4 yet the Germans have let in only eight goals. Given that, it's remarkable they've made it this far.

However, against a side as strong as Real, you have to wonder if they've finally met their match.

The concern with backing Vini Jr for a goal is that it will be another tight final - the last four have all ended 1-0 - but those Dortmund defensive numbers suggest they will concede decent chances so it's a bet I'm happy to back. It wouldn't be a huge surprise to see this end 3-0 to the favourites.

Leg 2: Vinicius Junior to be shown a card

The other aspect - and where we get some real value - is by backing the same player in the card market.
The 23-year-old has been carded in six of his last 11 starts, taking him into double figures for cards this season.

OK, referee Slavko Vincic has had the cards under pretty tight control in this season's Champions League but longer-term trends show he's shown at least four in 30 of his last 48 UEFA club appointments.

If Real do get ahead, as widely expected, it's not hard to see them giving away some cheap fouls to break up the game in the closing stages and Vinicius has form for that.

He's also got a bit of back-chat at times, while if he does score we've also got the chance of exuberant celebrations or just increased excitement which could see him throwing himself into challenges more aggressively.

The clincher for this theory is that in all six of the aforementioned games in which Vinicius has been carded, he's also scored. In five of the six, the card has come after he had scored.

Basically, we're getting 10/111.00 about something that's happened is six of the player's last 11 games - it's worth a shot.

More UCL final: Check out Paul Higham's best bets!

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Column P/L 2023/24

Staked: 270pts
Returned: 296.86pts
P/L: +26.86pts

2022/23 P/L: +68.69pts


Available to new and existing customers. Bet at least £10 (can be £10 win or £5 each-way) on the Euro 2024 Outright Winner market and get a free bet per every goal scored by your selection in the Group stage of the tournament. Opt in required. T&Cs apply.

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