Two of Europe’s most storied soccer clubs will meet Saturday in the Champions League Final.
Real Madrid will try to add a 14th title to its already record haul, while Liverpool is looking for a seventh, which would move it into a tie for second all-time.
Whether you’re a hardcore soccer fan or simply drop in for the big games, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. And for Michigan online sports bettors, it’s the last time this season to wager on a major European match this season.
How to watch the Champions League final
- What: UEFA Champions League Final
- Who: Liverpool (England) vs. Real Madrid (Spain)
- When: 3 p.m. Saturday, May 28
- Where: Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France
- Television: CBS
- Streaming: Paramount+
- Last year: Chelsea def. Manchester City, 1-0
Liverpool slight favorite to win Champions League
Despite finishing second in the Premier League to Manchester City (the team Real Madrid defeated in the Champions League semifinal), Liverpool enters the game as the favorite to lift the trophy.
The Reds are making their third Champions League Final appearance since 2018. They split the first two, losing 3-1 against Real Madrid in 2018, and winning 2-0 against Tottenham in 2019.
They advanced by winning all of their group stage games, and defeating Inter Milan, Benfica and Villarreal in the knockout stages.
Liverpool may have finished second in the Premier League, but it was by a single point and to a team in Manchester City that is considered by many as the best in the world. Liverpool is considered by, perhaps just as many, to be in that same breath, as the two played to a pair of 2-2 draws in league play this season.
The Premier League trophy was the only one in England Liverpool did not lift this season, as it won the FA Cup and League Cup titles.
That means it has played the maximum amount of games this season, and there are some injury concerns heading into Saturday. Midfielder Thiago Alcântara is questionable, while midfielder Fabinho and center back Virgil van Dijk are coming off injuries, but expected to be fully available.
Star forward Mo Salah also had an injury scare recently, but returned to action in the second half of the Premier League finale this past Sunday, and scored the go-ahead goal.
Salah leads a dangerous Liverpool attack along with Sadio Mané, Luis Díaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino.
Liverpool scored 94 goals in 38 Premier League matches, while allowing 26.
Real Madrid has knocked off European giants on way to final
Real Madrid is arguably the biggest club in the world, so it is rare that it is ever overlooked or doubted. That was the case, however, in each of its knockout-round games during this season’s Champions League run.
To be fair, it didn’t look good at times for Los Blancos.
They trailed star-studded Paris Saint Germain 2-0 on aggregate with less than 30 minutes remaining in the Round of 16; defending champion Chelsea 4-3 on aggregate with 10 minutes remaining in the quarterfinals; and Manchester City 5-3 heading into stoppage time of the semifinal.
Real Madrid should not be here based on all of that. But it’s Real Madrid, the team that cannot be put away, so here it is, back in the final for the first time since completing a three-peat in 2018.
The La Liga champions are led by perhaps the world’s hottest striker, Karim Benzema. He scored the winner on a penalty against Manchester City, and has 15 goals in 11 Champions League games this season. The Frenchman averaged 1.35 goals and assists per 90 minutes in La Liga play.
He is flanked by speedy young forward Vincius Júnior, and the combination of the two allows Real Madrid to turn nothing into something at the drop of a hat. That speed could cause problems for the high line Liverpool’s defense plays.
Real Madrid ran away with the La Liga title this season, finishing 13 points ahead of rival Barcelona. It scored 80 goals in 38 matches, while allowing 31.
That cushion has allowed Real Madrid to play under very little pressure since knocking off Manchester City, which could be seen as an advantage.
Michigan sportsbooks Champions League promos
As of Thursday morning, Michigan online sportsbooks were light on promotions surrounding the Champions League Final. That could certainly change by kickoff on Saturday.
BetMGM Michigan Sportsbook is offering a soccer-centric promotion, however, even if it doesn’t include the Champions League in its name.
Customers can opt-in on the promotions page for a chance to win a signed Borussia Dortmund jersey. After opting in, each $25 wager on soccer through Sunday, May 29, counts as an entry.
A total of 10 winners will be selected to receive the jersey, which will be signed by the German Bundesliga team.
How to bet on soccer in Michigan
European soccer markets are a staple at Michigan online sportsbooks, and there is so much more to wager on than simply who will win or lose.
Heck, even that has a twist.
Despite the fact that a winner is certain to be crowned Saturday, you can still place a bet that the match will “end” in a draw. By end, that means after the typical 90 minutes, plus any stoppage time. So if the game goes to extra time, your draw ticket is the winner.
This is important, because if you pick Real Madrid or Liverpool to win on the moneyline, you will need them to win in regular time. Most sportsbooks are good about making that note. If you’re simply looking to pick the winner, regardless of the method, find “To Win The Trophy” or similar wording, or even a Champions League future.
Bets that would be familiar from other sports are also available, such as spreads, totals, exact score, goal scorers, first goal scorers, etc.
Corner kicks is a soccer specific market, and provides a lot of options. You can wager on the total number of corners taken between the two teams, the total for either team, or which team will take the most.
One tip for soccer bettors, especially in light of Liverpool’s injury concerns: lineups for each team will be released one hour prior to kickoff.