The Champions League final is set for Portugal, but a pair of teams from neighboring Spain are vying for the coveted trophy.
Real Madrid is the big favorite against rival Atletico Madrid, with Champions League betting odds of -110. Atletico was at +300 in early wagering at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark, while the draw line was +250.
While Atletico Madrid are coming off their draw against Barcelona, which netted them the La Liga title, they lost to Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey.
In league play this season, Atletico had one win and one draw facing their city rival.
Injuries will be a key aspect of this final match, as a couple of important players are questionable. The two biggest names may not even play, as both scoring leaders in Atletico’s Diego Costa and Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo are nicked up.
Costa’s injury may be more serious, while Ronaldo was held out of Real’s last match to give him more time to heal.
One player who will not play is Real’s Xabi Alonso, as he was booked for a red card in the Champions League semifinals and will be watching this match from the sidelines. His loss is a big one, and Real did not play well in the midfield in their most recent encounter facing Atletico without him on the pitch.
The Atletico defense kept Barcelona’s offense in check all season and now will be facing a Real squad that averaged over three goals per game in their run to the finale.
Atletico Madrid are going for their first Champions League trophy, while Real Madrid have won it nine times.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are a formidable trio and will be tough to stop. Still, Atletico play a counterpunching style, and with Real attacking, they will have their chances.
David Villa and Raul Garcia, who have combined for 22 goals in La Liga play, will play alongside Costa. But if he cannot go, they will be counted on to pace the offensive attack.
Even if Costa is on the pitch, Real have the advantage up front, and Atletico's midfield and defense must play well. They did lose to Real 5-0 in Copa del Rey play, but three of those came on own goals.
Atletico must play like they did facing Barcelona last weekend. If they can do that and frustrate Ronaldo and Co., they have a legitimate chance to win their first Champions League trophy.
Prediction: 2-1 Real Madrid
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