May 23 - The final of the European Champions League for 2007 is a rematch between AC Milan and Liverpool. The betting suggests that Liverpool will play to their Premier League form and not repeat their miraculous 2005 win against Milan, but let's take a close look at those odds.
The 2005 Champions League Final saw Liverpool rally from 0-3 down at half-time with three goals in the second half, and then win the game on penalties. Betting at half time made Liverpool 250/1 to win the game and there are many stories (99% of them are apocryphal) of punters who put on a hundred quid out of desperate loyalty, and then found themselves 25,000 pounds richer.
The odds for tonight's clash are a little less gaudy, but there is still a lot of value betting on Liverpool who are big underdogs in the betting.
has AC Milan at 7/5 with Liverpool 5/2 and the Draw 11/5 (these are all for the 90-minute betting market).
In terms of the overall result the betting shows AC Milan at odds on (4/6) with Liverpool easy to back at 6/5.
AC Milan endured a poor league campaign finishing 4th in Serie A 33 points off the pace. They had points docked to start the season (8) but even so they hardly dazzled. In the Champions League semi-final they were most impressive against Manchester United however, and the reasoning goes that they should therefore be superior to Liverpool as well.
Liverpool are built for Cup Finals though, just ask West Ham or those AC Milan players still on the team from 2005 (most of the key men remain from that team). They have matchwinners in Gerrard and Reina who play on big game emotion and a coach in Benitez who is strategically superior to any other in the premier league.
Our feeling is that Liverpool's failure to compete domestically will be to their advantage. They are fresh and focussed - in a much better spot than say a Chelsea or Manchester United team campaigning on four different fronts simultaneously would have been.
If Liverpool can contain Kaka and Seedorf they will win the game, and Benitez understands this. If the game goes to penalites Liverpool will win the game as well, and Benitez understands this as well. Look for a low-scoring draw in regulation and for Liverpool to win the Champions League at 6/5.
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