Champions League: Early fireworks from Mane

Saturday sees the culmination of the European domestic football season, with the Champions League final.

And this game has excitement practically guaranteed, with the competition’s two highest scoring sides clashing.

In one corner is Real Madrid, the defending champions, winners of three of the last four tournaments and going for win number 13. They face a Liverpool side that has five wins to its credit, but none since 2005.

The experience is all with the Spanish side, including all-time leading Champions League scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, while Liverpool offer youth, work rate and this season’s scoring sensation Mo Salah.

The bookies have made Real favourites, but only just. We expect Liverpool to make a fast start, putting pressure on the Real midfield with their pressing. If they do this well they could create early chances, and Paddy Power offers a boosted price of 28/1 that Sadio Mane scores in the first 15 minutes, as he did in Rome in the semifinal.

That said, this Liverpool defence will find it hard to keep out the tournament’s leading scorer Ronaldo. The Portuguese star needs two more to match his record of 17 for a campaign, and we’ll take the 8/1 on offer that he scores from outside the penalty area.

Recommendations:

Mane to score in first 15 mins, 1 pt, at 28/1, Paddy Power

Ronaldo to score from outside the area, 1 pt, at 8/1, SkyBet

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