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UEFA Champions League Final – Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid Predictions, Picks, and Preview – May 28, 2016

UEFA Champions League Final – Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid Predictions, Picks, and Preview – May 28, 2016

For the second time in three years, a team from Madrid is sure to be crown kings of Europe. Atletico Madrid will be out to avenge their crushing 4-1 extra-time loss to rivals Real in 2014 as they meet at the San Siro in Milan, Italy on Satuday. Atleti’s defense has been second to none, but can they contain the ever-dangerous Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of Real’s Galacticos?

Get a complete breakdown of the 2016 UEFA Champions League final/Madrid derby below. Meanwhile, find out whom some top soccer experts have picked to win the Champions League here.

International Soccer News & Previews

Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid Preview

Where: San Siro, Milan, Italy

When: Saturday, May 28, 2016, 2:45 PM ET

Line: Real Madrid +135 vs. Atletico Madrid +180, tie +205; total 2.0 – view all Champions League lines

TV Broadcast: FOX

Betting on Real Madrid

Real Madrid have made their second final in three years, but their performances en route to the final have hardly been convincing, especially in the last two rounds. They needed a remarkable Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick in the second leg to rescue them from a two-goal deficit against Wolfsburg in the quarterfinals, and could only score one goal in two legs past a very timid Manchester City team in the semis.


Real’s underwhelming performances against City had a lot to do with Ronaldo’s injury problems. He didn’t feature in the first leg, and didn’t look quite like his normal self when he returned in the second. Ronaldo had another injury scare a few days ago, but has played down any fears of him missing the final.

Having a fit and healthy Ronaldo will be absolutely crucial for Real’s attack to find a way past Atleti’s imposing defense. The Portuguese superstar is the Champions League’s leading scorer, contributing 16 of the team’s 27 goals in this year’s competition. Ronaldo is +350 to be the final’s first scorer.

Real will be without French defender Rafael Varane, but should get a huge boost with the return of another Frenchman, striker Karim Benzema. Benzema had a goal and an assist in Real’s last two games La Liga games of the season.

Real haven’t had a particularly great record against Atletico in recent years. They have just one win (in full-time) in their last 12 meetings. However, that one win was in the Champions League in last year’s quarterfinals. And of course, they also beat Atleti in extra-time in the 2014 final. Real are priced at +850 to grab another win in extra-time.

Betting on Atletico Madrid

Unlike their noisy neighbors, Atletico have had a much more impressive run up to the final. After needing penalties to dispatch PSV in the round of 16, they then proceeded to knock out the two biggest tournament favorites – Barcelona and Bayern Munich – in successive rounds.

Their struggles against PSV and their success against Barca and Bayern weren’t exactly that surprising. Atleti’s strengths aren’t to take the game to their opponents; instead, they’re at their best when they absorb the opposition’s attacks with their very well-organized defense, and then strike swiftly on the counter-attack.

That made them tailor-made to beat the big guns, and that has also been a reason why they Diego Simeone has had a lot of success against an attack-minded Real in his time at the Calderon. Atleti have beaten Real five times in their last 12 meetings, including twice at the Bernabeu.

Atletico’s gameplan is predicated on scoring first, which they’ve done in eight out of their 12 Champions League games this season. They’re +132 to score first again in the final. Antoine Griezmann (+450 to score the first goal) has been stellar all season long with 32 goals, including seven in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, their defense has the job of holding on to that lead, which they’ve also successfully achieved thus far. They’ve tamed the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Thomas Muller, and they can do it again with a possibly-not-100-percent Cristiano Ronaldo. Atleti have held Ronaldo to just one goal from open play in their last 10 meetings since the 2014 final.

Writer’s Prediction

Atletico (+185) exorcise the demons of 2014 as they beat Real 1-0 in a very tight affair.

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Written by Brad

Sports Betting Tips, News, and Analysis