What to Know Ahead of Champions League Final

Sun, Jun 30, 2024
by CapperTek

Before a busy summer of international soccer commences, there is one more club game on the schedule. Of course, it’s the most important club game of the year, the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Madrid are the clear favorite, but against all odds, Dortmund has reached the final despite being the clear underdog in both the quarterfinals and the semifinals.

For one of the biggest sporting events on the planet, there is no shortage of online sports betting sites accepting bets on the match between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Don’t forget that every site has unique features and promos, so make sure you do some research before deciding what site to use.

Aside from Real Madrid being the obvious favorite, what else should fans know heading into the Champions League Final? Here are some subplots, factors, and relevant news to consider before placing a bet on the game between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

Team of Destiny vs Team of Dynasty

The path these teams have taken to reach the final couldn’t be more different. Real Madrid has been among the favorites to win Champions League from the beginning in addition to becoming a frequent participant in the final match. Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund had the longest odds of winning the Champions League crown of any team in the quarterfinals and again heading into the semifinals.

In a way, BVB could be considered a team of destiny after the way they battled back from a deficit against Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals and then took down heavy favorite PSG in the semifinals. After the brutal way that Dortmund was denied the Bundesliga title last year, winning a Champions League title this season would be a great way to erase that memory. Of course, just getting to the Champions League final for the first time since 2013 is already a great accomplishment.

On the other hand, Real Madrid is accustomed to being the favorite and used to coming out on top. In the 10 years since Dortmund’s last appearance in the Champions League Final, Los Blancos have reached the final game five times, winning all five of them. Just two years ago, much of this Real Madrid squad beat Liverpool in the Champions League Final, so they will surely have an edge when it comes to experience.

Injury Situation

Injuries will surely be something worth looking at heading into the final. Real Madrid has adjusted well to playing without David Alaba, who hasn’t played since December because of an ACL tear. However, his experience in big games would have been useful. But Los Blancos will also be without midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, who started both legs of the semifinals. Dortmund, meanwhile, has no key injuries to report ahead of the Final.

Star Power

Of course, while Dortmund isn’t missing any key players, Real Madrid still outshines them with regard to pure star power. The Spanish giants have some of the biggest stars in the world with Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham. Both were arguably the two best players in La Liga this season and are poised to be serious contenders for the Ballon d’Or annually for the foreseeable future. Real Madrid also has veteran stars like Antonio Ruddier, Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modric to anchor the team.

In fairness, Borussia Dortmund isn’t without talented players. The likes of Mats Hummels, Julian Brandt, and Marco Reus have long been among the best players in the world at their position. That core is complemented by Donyell Malen, Niclas Fullkrug, and Jadon Sancho, who have sparked the Dortmund attack this year with midfielder Marcel Sabitzer providing a stabilizing force.

Team vs Individual

Ultimately, the Champions League Final could be decided based on a battle between Madrid’s individual talent and Dortmund’s collective effort. Real Madrid has scored 26 goals in Champions League play this season, second only to Manchester City. With Vinicius and Bellingham on top of Joselu and Rodrygo, Dortmund can’t match the attacking talent that Madrid possesses.

For the German side, the path to victory is in their work rate and defensive prowess. In Champions League play, Dortmund is the leader in tackles won, clearances, balls recovered, and most importantly, clean sheets. With the effort BVB displays defensively, they become better than the sum of their parts. After shutting out PSG in both legs of the semifinals, Dortmund has now allowed just one goal over its last five matches across all competitions. If Borussia Dortmund is going to pull off one more upset, they’re going to have to do it with defense.