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Champions League final preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid

Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid


Champions League final preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid

Champions League final preview: Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid

It’s gutsy outsiders vs grand masters at Wembley this weekend.

And after a run of Champions League finals where the goals were hard to come by, could Saturday’s showpiece final give us an encounter to remember?

The last four finals have ended 1-0

A total of just six goals have been scored across the last five finals – with the last four finals all ending 1-0.

To get to this point, Borussia Dortmund won both legs of their semi-final 1-0 against Paris Saint-Germain. Which suggests Edin Terzic’s side are fully cognisant of football’s fine margins – and the benefits of turning them to their advantage.

Real Madrid are generally good for a few goals, of course. But even their last Champions League triumph a couple of years ago was a 1-0 win over Liverpool.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side’s most recent outing in La Liga was a nil-nil against Real Betis, too; perhaps Madrid have already entered endgame mode.

The good news is that meetings between Dormund and Real have generally produced goals; the last four have each seen both sides find the net, with at least four goals scored in each match. Those were all group stage meetings, however.

Real Madrid have won 14 times

At this point in the competition, Real Madrid tend to be a more unforgiving opponent. After all, Real have won this tournament 14 times already, more than any other club; and Ancelotti himself has won the Champions League four times as a coach, a feat not even Pep Guardiola can match.

The Spanish side’s history may mark them out as the favourites, but in the here and now Real also look the stronger side; losing just a single league game all season, they were crowned La Liga champions earlier this month, finishing 10 points clear of nearest rivals Barcelona.

And for Real’s Jude Bellingham in particular, victory would make for an incredible climax to what’s already been a sensational season.

Victory on Saturday would see Bellingham winning the Champions League at the tender age of 20, at his home nation’s national stadium – and against his former club Dortmund.

Jude’s former side could only manage a fifth-place finish in the Bundesliga. But the side have nonetheless shown plenty of determination to reach this point; winners of the Champions League in 1997, can they overcome their status as underdogs to prevent Don Carlo adding another CL trophy to Real’s collection?

It’s tough to see Carlo come unstuck

Well, sure; after all, it was just a week ago we were outlining the myriad reasons why Manchester City would demolish Manchester United in the FA Cup.

Similarly, Real are the overwhelming favourites to lift the trophy on Saturday. But the weight of history really is on the Spanish club’s side here.

Real have won each of the last eight Champions League finals they’ve appeared in, coming up against more formidable sides than Dortmund without faltering. It’s very tough to see Carlo coming unstuck.

But will this Champions League final at least buck the recent trend for goal-lite finals? Or are we poised for another season-ending extravaganza that falls short when it comes to scoring?

Dortmund have kept six clean sheets already in this competition. Real will probably win, but this may not be the goal-packed affair football fans all over the globe are crying out for. Real Madrid to win 1-0 is a 15/2 shot.

If that doesn’t appeal – well, you could side with Bellingham to sign off for the season in fitting fashion. The Englishman is 41/20 to score at any time.

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