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Kevin Pullein believes that, based on his current ability, Liverpool have the advantage in this repeat of the 2018 Champions League final
History, money and current capacity. On all these measures, Liverpool and Real Madrid are performing well. Of the top two, Madrid are even stronger than Liverpool. In the third, Liverpool seem to be stronger than Madrid. The third is the one that should be the most important today.
Real Madrid and Liverpool are the first and fourth most successful clubs in Champions League and European Cup history. Madrid have won it 13 times and been runners-up three times. Liverpool have won it six times and been runners-up three times.
According to Football Benchmark consultants, Real and Liverpool are the first and fifth most valuable clubs in Europe. In a report called The European Elite 2022, they valued Madrid at £2.7bn and Liverpool at £2.2bn.
Such figures, of course, are only tentative indications. Football Benchmark said Chelsea were worth £1.9bn while noting they had just been sold for £2.5bn.
Deloitte accountants publish a Football Money League which ranks clubs according to their income. In the most recent edition, covering last season, Madrid came second with turnover of £567million and Liverpool seventh with turnover of £487million.
Madrid and Liverpool’s wage bills last season, according to their financial reports, were £357m and £314m.
Typically, the club with the higher wage bill will have the best players, but I don’t think that’s currently the case with these two teams.
Real beat Liverpool 3-1 in the 2018 final, which marked Liverpool’s return to the top tier of European football. If Champions League results over the past five seasons – 2017-18 to 2021-22 – gave an accurate indication of current capabilities, I would estimate that at a neutral site Liverpool have a 58 per cent chance of scoring every goal. scored in a match. against Madrid.
I come to the same conclusion if I study Liverpool’s Premier League results and Real Madrid’s La Liga results this season and generally consider how Premier League and La Liga results relate to Champions League results. In terms of 90 minute results, I estimate a 47% chance of winning Liverpool, a 26% chance of a draw and a 27% chance of winning Madrid.
The changing face of Champions League goals
The last three Champions League finals have been won 1-0, 1-0 and 2-0. Three games, none with more than two goals. This was unusual for the last decades.
The European Cup started in the 1955-56 season and became the Champions League in 1992-93. Tonight, for the 67th time, a team will be proclaimed European Champion.
There have been different types of finals at different times. Of course, you never know in advance when one era will give way to another.
There were high scores in the 50s and 60s, low scores in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, and scores somewhere in between for most years since then.
All of these figures exclude overtime, replays and penalty shootouts.
In the first 14 finals – those between 1956 and 1969 – there were 59 goals, an average of 4.2 per game. In the next 24 finals – those between 1970 and 1993 – there were 32 goals, an average of just 1.3 per game. Then in the next 25 finals – those between 1994 and 2018 – there were 70 goals, an average of 2.8 per game.
Goals per game in the third period were almost exactly halfway between what they had been in the first and second periods.
Only four of the first 14 finals have produced less than three goals. Only three of the next 24 finals produced more than two goals. Then, in the next 25 finals, 14 scored three or more goals and 11 scored two or less.
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 3:21 PM, MAY 27, 2022