Champions League Final Preview 2024: Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid Betting Tips

Jadon SanchoThe biggest match of the European season takes place on Saturday (8pm), the 2024 UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley. UCL specialists Real Madrid have once again made it to the final, where they will face German outfit Borussia Dortmund. Can the men in yellow prevent the Spanish team from picking up European football’s most prestigious prize for an unprecedented 15th time? Read on for our Champions League Final preview with betting tips.

How did they get here?

For Borussia Dortmund, who finished fifth in the recently concluded Bundesliga, this is only a second Champions League final appearance. They reached the final in 2013, which also happened to be held at Wembley, where they lost to fellow Germans Bayern Munich. This time around, reaching the final seemed unlikely, especially as they were drawn against a defiant Atletico Madrid team in the quarters. They showed their quality to get through that tie, winning 5-4 in aggregate. In the semis, they showed a tremendous amount of resolve to edge beyond PSG, securing a 2-0 aggregate win.

For Real Madrid, this is an all too familiar scenario, as they have now reached the final six times since 2014, winning each of their last five. However, they too had to scrap to get here, winning in less than explosive style against Manchester City in the quarters: on penalties following a 4-4 aggregate draw. They were far from overly dominant against Bayern in the semi-final, again winning narrowly, thanks to a very late second-leg brace from unlikely hero Joselu, who is now a veteran forward and was primarily signed as a back-up option.

Get the job done

Real Madrid and the Champions League go hand in hand. The team from the Spanish capital has a clear affinity with this competition. It is fair to say that when it comes to big UCL games, this is a team that knows how to get the job done.

People associated glitz and glamour with a club like Real Madrid. After all, some of the best players to do so have played for Los Blancos. In recent seasons, especially this term, they have ground out results in less than fashionable style in big UCL games. In that second leg against Man City, they were on the back foot for most of the game, getting it done in low-key style, while they very much dug deep and ground it out against Bayern, again not exactly exploding into life.

Similar approach from BVB

Few people expected the Germans to go beyond PSG, who many thought would have too much firepower for Edin Terzić’s men. This is a Dortmund team capable of digging in and grinding, as well as impressing offensively with their many exciting players, such as speedster Karim Adeyemi, Julian Brandt, Donyell Malen and Jadon Sancho, who has rediscovered his best form since rejoining.

However, it wasn’t really the offensive players that took the plaudits during their semi-final win against PSG. After scoring a breakaway goal in the first leg at home, they defended stoutly, frustrating their opponents, while after scoring from a set piece, they managed to do the same in the French capital too. Such a two-legged effort will likely leave them thinking that they could upset the serial UCL winners.

Not much recent history between the pair

In the last few seasons, the pair have avoided each other in continental competition, with their last meeting coming in 2017, when Real Madrid won 3-2 at the Bernabeu. Earlier in the same campaign, Madrid won 1-3 in Germany. Dortmund haven’t beaten Real Madrid since winning 2-0 in 2014. Interestingly, each of the last four matches between the pair have contained at least four goals.

Champions League Final: Could it be cagey?

When we see two big teams come together, we often expect fireworks and goals galore, but that might not be the case at Wembley.

In the semi-finals, both teams adopted a more cautious approach, relying on maintaining a disciplined shape and keeping things secure at the back before looking to play on the counter. If both take a similar route here, then things could get quite cagey and we could see the pair cancel each other out a little, as is quite often the case in big finals.

We saw that Dortmund, as impressive as they can be in the final third at times, were happy to play it safe against PSG, and there’s no way that they’ll want to go crazy early on in this game, as doing so would risk being punished on the break.

It is also worth noting that the pair come here having not conceded too many goals of late. The Spaniards have conceded one or less in all but one of their last six, while the Germans have conceded one or less in four of their last five.

What is more, we shouldn’t neglect the fact that big finals of this nature are often low-scoring. As we saw on Wednesday night, no goals were scored in regulation time in the UEFA Europa Conference League Final, while last season’s Champions League Final was settled by a single goal. The year before that, when Real Madrid lifted the trophy, only one goal was scored in the final, as they beat Liverpool thanks to a timely finish from the reliable Vinicius Junior.

In fact, each of the last five Champions League finals has contained a maximum of two goals, with four of those five containing just one goal. Don’t be surprised if this turns out to be a low-scoring game. So for our UCL betting tips against the main UK bookies, we will go with this one suggestion: