Serial runner-up Jurgen Klopp faces the unusual prospect of entering a showpiece final as the favourite when Liverpool take on Tottenham in the 2018/19 Champions League final.
The German’s failings at the final hurdle are well documented, with the June 1st date with Spurs in Madrid representing his eighth final as a manager, though he’s won only one of which to date.
That victory came when he was manager of Dortmund, who beat Bayern Munich 5-2 in the 2012 German Cup final, but Klopp has lost each of his last six finals, including last year’s Champions League loss to Real Madrid.
Jurgen Klopp’s Cup Final Record
|Dortmund v Bayern Munich||2012 German Cup Final||Dortmund 5-2 Bayern|
|Dortmund v Bayern Munich||2013 Champions League Final||Dortmund 1-2 Bayern|
|Dortmund v Bayern Munich||2014 German Cup Final||Dortmund 0-2 Bayern (AET)|
|Dortmund v Wolfsburg||2015 German Cup Final||Dortmund 1-3 Wolfsburg|
|Liverpool v Manchester City||2016 League Cup Final||1-1, City won 3-1 on penalties|
|Liverpool v Sevilla||2016 Europa League Final||Liverpool 1-3 Sevilla|
|Liverpool v Real Madrid||2018 Champions League Final||Liverpool 1-3 Real Madrid|
The difference this time around is that, for the first time since losing the 2015 German Cup final to Wolfsburg, a Klopp team will kick-off as the pre-game favourites in a final, with online bookmakers making Liverpool around 10/11 (-110) to beat Tottenham in normal time, and 8/15 (-188) to lift the trophy by any means.
Tottenham, incidentally, are generally 3/1 (+300) to win in 90 minutes and 6/4 (+150) to triumph on the night be that in regular time, extra-time or penalties.
In recent years, the Champions League final favourites have prevailed, with Chelsea the last underdog to upset the odds having beaten Bayern Munich in 2011/12. Since then, Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid (four times) have all obliged to lift the trophy as match-day favourites.
Klopp is used to being the underdog, but being the underdog hasn’t served him well on the big occasions. So, how will he respond now that the boot is on the other foot?
What To Bet On: A Draw
As evidenced in the most recent Champions League finals to feature two teams from the same country, a one-nation showpiece can often end up being a damp squib.
When sides from the same league are pitted against each other on neutral territory, it often leads to a cagey affair in regular time, the two finals between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in 2014 and 2016 – both 1-1 at full-time – being the most fitting examples.
Having played each other at least twice already during the season, the teams tend to know each other’s strengths and often take a cautious approach with this in mind, rather than attack their weaknesses.
At 5/2 (+250), a draw between Liverpool and Tottenham after 90 minutes appears the best value in the match result market, though there are better ways of making money off this potential outcome if you’re the type of punter who’s prepared to take a risk on longer odds.
Added Value in Correct Score Odds
I particularly like the look of the correct score market, where you can get a best price of 6/1 (+600) with BetVictor on the final score after 90 minutes being 1-1. SportingBet also offer the same price, with most other sportsbooks going 11/2 (+550).
Granted, the average goals-per-game ratio in the Champions League this season is 2.94, but that rate is somewhat inflated by several 5+ goal performances from the likes of PSG, Barcelona and Manchester City earlier in the tournament.
The final will be much tighter, so under 2.5 goals is another bet I like the look of, although it’s a little short at 10/11 (-110) with MoPlay and several others at the same price.
Champions League Final In-Play Advice
Sticking with my assumption that this game is destined to end in a draw in 90 minutes, it might make more financial sense to wait for one team to take the lead before placing an in-play bet on an eventual draw.
At 8/11 (-162), it’s considered likely that both teams will score, and this season’s UEFA data on goals suggests that the minutes period of between 31-45 is the most likely time for first-half strikes to be scored, though minutes 76-90 is the most potent period for goals.
On average this season, a goal has been scored every 32 minutes in the Champions League, which makes the case for backing 1-1 after 90 minutes plus a few extra for stoppages all the more appealing.
Ahead of kick-off, you’ll get about 13/2 (+650) on either team to win on penalties, or 12/1 (+1200) if you can pick the right team to prevail. However, if you like the sound of these odds, again it might be best to wait until the odds go in-play before choosing your winner.
Say, for example, Hugo Lloris makes one of his trademark clangers on the big stage, it could be wise to strike while the iron is hot and back Liverpool to win via a shootout.
Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, meanwhile, has been a big success at Anfield, but the Brazilian is still guilty of overplaying the ball when in possession with his feet, and his kick-outs remain suspect too.
An early wobble or two from him may convince you to back Spurs to win a shootout in-play, but the 13/2 (+650) pre-match price on a penalty shootout is also excellent value.
Tottenham vs Liverpool Specials
As mentioned, with so much on the line between two familiar foes, this could turn out to be a cagey and underwhelming match.
It’s notable that both Liverpool and Tottenham are in the top five for most fouls committed in the Champions League this season, so it could have a stop-start pattern which won’t add to the spectacle.
Obviously, making it to the last two will have gone some way towards total fouls tallying up, but Porto and Man Utd – who were both dumped out in the quarters – are also in the top five, so there is some substance to believing cards could well be dished out – check out the ‘over’ odds in the cards markets on match-day.
Somewhat surprisingly, the player with the most fouls in this season’s Champions League is Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, who has been yellow carded twice in his 12 outings in Europe this term.
That stat is likely down to the speedy forward’s work-rate in tracking back to halt counter-attacks. He will be called upon to do so against Spurs, surely, making his price of 4/1(+400) with 888Sport to be carded a tempting alternative bet.
- Draw (5/2)
- Correct Score 1-1 (6/1)
- Either team on penalties (13/2)
- Sadio Mane to be booked in 90 mins (4/1)