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It hasn’t been a vintage year for Real Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane’s side finished 17 points behind Barcelona in La Liga, lost to Leganes in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals and failed to top their group in the Champions League.

Yet here they are again, in the final of a competition they have won an unprecedented three times in the past four years.

Real have relied on grit, experience and plenty of luck to navigate the tricky path of PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich in the knock-out rounds.

They’ll need all three of those attributes to beat Liverpool, who have looked far more impressive while blowing away an admittedly weaker set of knock-out opponents.

The Reds’ tally of 40 goals is the highest in this year’s tournament, and they’ve bagged 17 of those in their six knock-out games so far.

Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are the competition’s second, third and fourth-highest scorers with a total of 29 between them, and they each got on the scoresheet twice against Roma in the semi-finals.

Few sides can match Liverpool’s front line, but PSG’s trio of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe come close, and Real held them to just two goals in their last-16 tie.

And while no one has managed to slow down Liverpool so far in this competition, the defending champions have the experience to do just that.

Nine members of Real Madrid’s squad will be appearing in their fourth Champions League final this weekend. None of Liverpool’s players have appeared in one.

The Spanish giants are the side to back to lift the trophy at , although a one-sided game is unlikely.

Real needed extra-time to beat Atletico in the 2014 final and penalties to see their local rivals off again two years later, and is good value for them to triumph again in the extra half-hour this weekend.

While Salah, Mane and Firmino have shared the load for Liverpool this season, Cristiano Ronaldo has shouldered almost all of the goalscoring responsibility for Real, bagging 15 in the Champions League – five more than any other player.

The Portuguese has notched 30 goals in his last 20 appearances for club and country – remarkably failing to find the net on just three occasions during that run – and has to be backed to get on the scoresheet at .

Part of what has made Real Madrid so successful in these European games is their willingness to embrace football’s dark arts.

The masters of the cynical booking have picked up at least four cards in each of their last three appearances in the final, with captain Sergio Ramos being shown a yellow in all three of those games.

Ramos again must be backed at to go into the referee’s book, while Dani Carvajal – who leads all Real players with 17 yellows and a straight red this season – is also a good bet at .

Recommended bets:

Real Madrid to win in extra-time:

Cristiano Ronaldo to score –

Sergio Ramos to be carded –

Dani Carvajal to be carded –

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