Mohamed Salah to upstage Cristiano Ronaldo, Liverpool to beat Real Madrid
A blank weekend for the column as Manchester United failed to show up for the FA Cup final. What a weekend coming up though and we've got all the best betting angles covered in the Champions League and playoff finals.
Running total: -£88.66
The Home Banker
Real Madrid are 6/5 favourites to beat Liverpool in Kiev and land an unprecedented third Champions League title in a row. Los Blancos finished 17 points off the pace in La Liga though and wrapped up their season with a typically underwhelming 2-2 draw at Villarreal last Saturday. Offensively they are still a force to be reckoned with (Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 42 goals in all competitions so far this season) but it's been a different story at the back. Keylor Navas has hardly been Mr Dependable between the sticks while the Spanish giants shipped 44 goals in the league (more than Getafe and Espanyol). Liverpool's front three have been red hot in Europe and it's hard to envisage a scenario where the Reds don't score in Kiev. It's 4/6 that both teams find the net and there are over 2.5 goals at the Olympic Stadium. And given how both teams like to play on the front foot that looks an absolute banker.
The Tasty Treble
Fulham (5/4) may have missed out on automatic promotion on the final day of the season but can make amends by beating Aston Villa and landing the Championship playoff final at Wembley. Fulham overturned a 1-0 semifinal deficit against Derby to win the second leg 2-0 in front of a jubilant Craven Cottage to stay on track for a place in the top flight. Villa finished five points behind the Cottagers in the table so preference is for Fulham to do the business over 90 minutes. Liverpool also look a tempting bet at 22/10 to stun Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane's men have rode their luck this season against both Juventus and Bayern Munich and may struggle to cope with Liverpool's "Fab Three" up front. Finally, Shrewsbury look overpriced at 19/10 to beat Rotherham. The Shrews have enjoyed a memorable campaign and seem to have shrugged off the disappointment of a stuttering finish to the regular season that saw them drop out of the automatic promotion picture in League One.
Selection: £4 on the treble at 19.22/1 with bet365
The Euro Wager
While history suggests Real Madrid should claim another Champions League, Liverpool have been magnificent this season and their unstoppable forward line of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino could help the Reds spring a shock in Kiev. Jurgen Klopp's side are here on merit and despite the German losing his last five major finals, he is confident Liverpool can land a first Champions League crown since 2005.
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The Wildcard Tip
Ryan Sessegnon has been a revelation for Fulham this season and the winger, who only turned 18 last Friday, looks a tempter at 6/1 to score first against Villa. Sessegnon has scored 16 goals this season and is a youngster who just oozes class.
The Bookie Basher
Ronaldo and Salah are likely to be front runners in the race for the Ballon d'Or later this year and we feel the latter could light up this final. The Egyptian King has plundered 44 goals in his debut season at Anfield and he's a 15/4 shout to score two or more against Madrid.