Benfica keep flying. Rui Vitoria’s team could have scored even in the Allianz Arena but did not and now they have to do it in Da Luz to have a chance to qualify. They are on top of the Portuguese Primeira Liga, 2 points ahead of Sporting Lisbon. The leaders had a hard fought 2-1 victory away to Academica.
Attacking duo Mitroglou and Jonas is… singled out tonight since the Brazilian is suspended. This will make it harder to trouble to the German defense.
Gaitan is a major doubt.
Benfica: Ederson; André Almeida, Lindelöf, Jardel, Eliseu; Fejsa, Renato Sanches, Gaitán (Carcela-González), Pizzi; Raúl Jiménez, Mitroglou.
Out: Júlio César (thigh), Jonas (suspended), Lisandro López (back)
Doubtful: Nicolas Gaitán (thigh)
Misses next match if booked: Luisão, Jonas, Gonçalo Guedes, Pizzi
Bayern managed a thrilling qualification against Juventus. They now have to make it simpler in Portugal and this can happen by scoring first.
Guardiola’s men extended their lead in the Bundesliga after winning 1-3 in Stuttgart. Dortmund is now 7 points behind.
The Bavarians have come through the serious problem in central defense with Boateng, Badstuber injured and Benatia on and off. Left full-back Alaba and central midfielder Kimmich have now had a few games paired in the center of the defence and the trick works nicely. The trouble might come in the semi-finals.
Robben is also sidelined for the visitors.
Bayern: Neuer; Lahm, Kimmich (Martínez), Alaba, Bernat; Vidal, Thiago; Costa, Ribéry; Müller, Lewandowski.
Out: Boateng (groin), Badstuber (ankle), Robben (groin), Benatia (groin)
Doubtful: Coman (thigh)
Misses next match if booked: Bernat, Boateng, Kimmich, Lewandowski, Vidal
Our bet: The odds on the Germans is a joke. As it was on the first leg. But we expect Bayern to score and prove the bookmakers right. Benfica’s absentees are too much to handle.
Real have won 13 Champions League titles (including the European Champions Cup) in 16 appearances in the final.
Liverpool have 6 Champions League titles (including the European Champions Cup) in 9 appearances in the final.
Road to the final
Liverpool wrapped up their on paper “tough group” (Atletico, Porto, AC Milan) with 6/6 wins. They then eliminated Inter, Benfica and Villarreal successively, winning on all 3 occasions and scoring 2+ goals on the road, while at home they only won against the Spaniards, drew with the Portuguese and were beaten by the Italians (0-2) in their only defeat in the competition this season.
Real Madrid cruised through the group stage (Inter, Sheriff, Shakhtar) with a 5-0-1 record. Their only loss was a shocking 1-2 defeat to Sheriff in Madrid. But Ancelotti’s team eliminated three championship contenders in… epic fashion. Against Paris Saint-Germain, they needed Benzema’s hat-trick in Madrid (3-1). The Frenchman scored 3 more goals in London against Chelsea (1-3) before his team beat the English side in extra time in the second leg. This was followed by two incredible games against Manchester City, losing 4-3 away, but scoring two goals after the 90 minutes in the replay and winning in extra time (3-1).
Liverpool vs Real Madrid possible line-ups
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keïta; Salah, Mané, Luis Díaz
The odds don’t show how tightly contested the final can be, with Liverpool given as favourites by all bookmakers, but Real are the side that has linked their name with European success. Liverpool may be more tired from their unsuccessful battle to win the Premier League, and in two finals this season they have drawn 0-0 with Chelsea and won the titles on penalties.
On the other hand, Real have had a chance to refuel over the last month and are expected to be fresh, so they offset the disadvantage of the Reds’ greater physicality.
Whew… tough to predict. But we’ll go with the “2-3 goals” bet as our main prediction, with the most likely score being 1-1. Finally, we think 2.37 on the Spanish side to win is too generous to pass up.
Tip 1: 2-3 goals at 2.00
Tip 2: Correct Score 1-1 at 7.00
Tip 3: Real Madrid to win the Trophy at 2.37
The last final played by Liverpool vs Real Madrid in 2018
The Euroleague Final fot in the Final Four will be between Real Madrid and Anadolu Efes. Check our expert Euroleague predictions.
Our EuroLeague Final 4 tips appear under each mini game preview.
Real Madrid vs Efes Anadolu
Real Madrid has 26 wins against Efes, that has 13.
Anadolu Efes and Real Madrid will meet for the first time in the EuroLeague Championship Game, but they have played many important games recently, including the 2021 play-offs series, which Efes won and then went on to win the title in the Final Four a few weeks later.
In the current campaign, Real and Efes have met twice. Real trounced Efes 82-69 in their season opener, with newcomers Heurtel and Yabusele each scoring 18 points. Efes defeated Real 93-90 in Round 31 almost six months later, with Micic scoring 29 points.
The championship game in 2022 will be the latest chapter in this developing rivalry. It’s a defining moment for both, and only the victor will be fulfilled.
The final is completely unpredictable; we like Real’s victory at the odds of 2.00, but we will also predict two players’ special bets. Real Madrid’s Causeur proved in the semi-final that he is a big game player, and his job will be even more essential with Williams-Goss out, while Yabusele is testing his hand a lot, and the odds on the market of Over 1.5 three-point attempts are worth it from every angle!
Tip: Real Madrid win at 2.00
Tip 2: Causer Over 8.5 points at 1.90
Tip 3: Yabusele Over 1.5 three-point shot (scored) at 2.15
(All prices correct at 21/04/2022, 09:30 CET, subject to change)
The Euroleague Final 4 is here! Check the semifinals previews and our expert Euroleague predictions.
Our EuroLeague Final 4 tips appear under each mini game preview.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid
This season, Barcelona was one of the stronger rebounding teams in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, but it couldn’t match Real Madrid’s dominance on the boards.
Sarunas Jasikevicius’ team has conceded the fewest rebounds in the league this season, 31.2 per game, and outrebounded opponents by 3.2 per game. It had the third-most defensive rebounds (24.3 per game) and the fourth-most total rebounds (34.4 rpg.).
Real’s resurgent supremacy elevated it to a new level. Los Blancos dominated the league in rebounds (38.3 per game), defence boards (26.8 per game), and offensive boards (11.6 per game). It gave up the fewest rebounds (31.7 per game) and outrebounded opponents by an incredible 6.6 per game.
When Real met Barcelona this season, such was not the case. When the two teams played in Round 14, Barcelona won 36-29. After that, Barca won the battle of the boards 39-36 in Round 26. In El Clasico this season, Barcelona averaged 5 more boards per game than their opponents.
Matching those great defensive efforts in the semifinals could be the difference between Barcelona and the EuroLeague’s top rebounding club.
Tip: 1 (-3.5) at 1.90
Olympiacos vs Efes
Several figures stand out from Olympiacos and Efes’s prior games this season that could be worth watching in their semifinal clash.
Even though the teams won a game each, there was little else that was equal. Efes had 18 turnovers in each game, whilst the Reds had 26. Efes not only had more possessions, but they also shot substantially better, hitting 62.0%of their two-point attempts. Both teams tried 71 twos, but Olympiacos shot 53.5%, which was 6 less. Efes also had the best three-point shooting squad, making 20 of them (33.9%). The Reds converted 17 attempts at 30.9%.
Each game was won by the club that won the battle of the boards, with Olympiacos gathering 6 more rebounds across the two games. Even in the Round 26 game, which Efes lost, it outscored Olympiacos 90-105 in the performance index rating.
Olympiacos did get to the foul line more frequently, even if it did not shoot as well. The Reds converted 29 of 36 foul shots (80.6%), while Efes converted 25 of 27. (92.6%). Efes also had a superior season free-throw shooting percentage (82.1 percent -75.8%). However, if Olympiacos continues to draw a lot of fouls and puts Efes in foul trouble, that might be a game changer.
Tip: Over 157.5 at 1.90
(All prices correct at 19/04/2022, 08:35 CET, subject to change)