Kevin Pullein: Soccer betting insights from the soccer expert | Sports news

Ian MacNicol

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Kevin Pullein believes Liverpool will come out on top in this repeat of the 2018 Champions League final due to their current skills

Kevin Pullein believes Liverpool will come out on top in this repeat of the 2018 Champions League final due to their current skills

Ian MacNicol

History, money and current skills. On all of these metrics, Liverpool and Real Madrid do well. On the first two, Madrid is even stronger than Liverpool. On the third, Liverpool seems to be stronger than Madrid. The third is the one that should be the most important today.

Real Madrid and Liverpool are the most successful clubs in Champions League and European Cup history, ranking first and fourth respectively. Madrid has won it 13 times and been runners-up three times. Liverpool have won it six times and been runners-up three times.

According to Football Benchmark advisors, Real and Liverpool are the most valuable clubs in Europe. In a report titled The European Elite 2022, they valued Madrid at £2.7bn and Liverpool at £2.2bn.

Such figures are of course only preliminary indications. Football Benchmark said Chelsea were worth £1.9bn while noting they had just been sold for £2.5bn.

The auditors Deloitte publish a Football Money League, which ranks clubs by revenue. In the most recent edition, which covered last season, Madrid finished second with £567m in revenue and Liverpool was seventh with £487m in revenue.

Madrid and Liverpool’s wage bills came in at £357m and £314m respectively last season, according to their financial reports.

Usually the club with the higher salary will have the better players, but I don’t think that’s the case with these two teams at the moment.

Real defeated Liverpool 3-1 in the 2018 final, marking Liverpool’s return to the top tier of European football. If Champions League results over the last five seasons – 2017-18 to 2021-22 – gave an accurate indication of current abilities, I would estimate Liverpool have a 58 per cent chance of conceding any goal at a neutral venue score that is scored in a match against Madrid.

I come to the same conclusion when I examine Liverpool’s Premier League results and Real Madrid’s La Liga results this season and generally look at how the results in the Premier League and La Liga compare to the results in the Champions league related. In terms of 90-minute results, I estimate a 47% chance for Liverpool to win, a 26% chance for a draw and a 27% chance for Madrid to win.

Goals in the change of the Champions League

The last three Champions League finals have been won 1-0, 1-0 and 2-0. Three games, none with more than two goals. This has been unusual in recent decades.

The European Cup began in the 1955-56 season and became the Champions League in 1992-93. Tonight a team will be crowned European Champion for the 67th time.

There were different types of endgames in different eras. Of course, we never know in advance when one era will give way to another.

There were highs in the 1950s and 60s, lows in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, and somewhere in between for most years since.

All of these numbers exclude overtime, replays and penalty shootouts.

In the first 14 finals – those between 1956 and 1969 – 59 goals were scored, an average of 4.2 per game. In the next 24 finals – those between 1970 and 1993 – 32 goals were scored, an average of just 1.3 per game. The next 25 finals – those between 1994 and 2018 – then saw 70 goals scored, averaging 2.8 per game.

Goals per game in the third period were almost halfway between the first and second periods.

Only four of the first 14 finals produced fewer than three goals. Only three of the next 24 finals have scored more than two goals. In the next 25 finals there were 14 with three or more goals and 11 with two or fewer goals.

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