Bayern Munich take on Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final in Lisbon, Portugal, on Sunday night.
Rarely has a Champions League final so overwhelmingly captured the imagination and excitement of neutrals all over the world, with the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnabry, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe comprising a sensational array of attacking talent on display.
Lewandowski and Gnabry have scored an astonishing 24 goals combined in this season’s Champions League; with that in mind it’s perhaps little surprise the Bavarian giants have been priced as even-money favourites in normal time to win their sixth European Cup.
Personally, while Bayern are rightful favourites, I think it’s a closer call than the bookmakers do. Bayern were priced at a similar mark against Barcelona, a side who were never likely to have the tools to come out on top in that battle.
PSG, while not as strong collectively as Bayern, are a different animal. Although I expect Bayern’s defensive line to drop a little, Mbappe, Neymar and the perennially under-rated Angel di Maria should still cause plenty of danger in behind them. I don’t expect them to be as charitable with their finishing as Lyon were on Wednesday.
The bookmakers can’t see either side keeping a clean sheet, with Both Teams To Score priced incredibly short at 4/11. It’s hard to disagree. For all of Bayern’s strengths, I do think they’re one of those teams who only really seem to have one (extremely effective) way of playing under manager Hans-Dieter Flick: attack, attack, attack.
The best way to go, then, may be to pick your favoured 90-minute outcome along with both teams finding the back of the net. Bayern are 21/10 to win and concede, with the draw and PSG win both 15/4. The latter is tempting.
Italian referee Daniele Orsato takes charge in the middle. He has awarded four penalties in his five Champions League matches in charge this season, which is music to my ears as a penalty in the match has proved a successful market for me during these European knock-out ties. With the referee and amount of attacking talent on display, I’m happy to back it again at 2/1 with bet365.
If you’re looking for a higher price, PSG to score a penalty at 11/2 with the same bookmaker looks decent value. With Bayern holding a higher defensive line and PSG possessing more nifty attackers capable of buying a foul, I’m mildly surprised PSG have been priced as bigger in this market than Bayern, even if the Germans will probably spend more time in the final third.
Orsato also has a high card rate in this competition, averaging 6.6 yellow cards per game this season. He has shown both sides at least one card in each of his last 33 matches in all competitions, and each side at least two cards in 14 of his last 20, too.
With so much at stake, and a referee to be relied upon more than most to deliver cards, it feels like a match to combine some selections on bet365’s brilliant Bet Builder feature.
Orsato dishing both sides Over 1 Card once more is 20/23. Meanwhile, PSG have earned three or more corners in all of their Champions League games this season, with Bayern winning four or more corners in each of theirs. Adding Over 2 Corners for PSG and Over 3 Corners for Bayern brings us to 7/4.
PSG have played four competitive matches since returning to action – the two French Cup finals against St-Etienne and Lyon, and the quarter-final and semi-final wins in this competition – with each opponent fouling them at least 20 times.
Bayern made 22 fouls against Barcelona, a side with technical quality but without the pace of PSG, so I think 2/1 on Over 19.5 Free-Kicks for PSG landing once again is a good price.
Adding this selection and Both Teams To Score to our Bet Builder gives us a very appealing looking 9/1 without even needing to predict the match outcome. It’s a fun one to follow with every referee whistle, card, corner and goal bringing it a step closer home.
Ultimately, let’s hope the final lives up to its billing. It could be a classic!
PSG & Yes 15/4 (bet365)
A Penalty Awarded 2/1 (bet365)
Over 19.5 Free-Kicks for PSG 2/1 (bet365)
Over 19.5 Free-Kicks for PSG, Over 2 Corners for PSG, Over 3 Corners for Bayern, Over 1 Card for each team 9/1 (bet365)