An All-English Champions League Final in Madrid? Yes, Please.
As far as dream trips go, heading off to see the Champions League Final would be up towards the top of the bucket list. There are some problems with making that dream a reality, however. Airlines tend to jack up the prices to the host city, and even when paying a premium, getting a direct flight is difficult; talk to Liverpool fans about how it felt like they had to circumnavigate the globe to make it to Kiev last year. Hotel prices, too, can rise astronomically and push the dream trip for fans out of reach.
Of course, the biggest concern for football fans is actually seeing their team make it to the showpiece final of European football. For many, that will never happen in their lifetimes. Yet, today we see two English clubs, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, with a shot to make it to the final, which will be held in the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on Saturday 1stJune.
Liverpool will fancy chances against Barcelona
Liverpool must overcome Barcelona and Spurs must tackle Ajax for the chances of an all-English final, but it’s certainly not improbable, with Bet365 listing it as a 10/3 chance of occurring. Barcelona are the outright favourites to win the tournament, with odds of 6/4, but Liverpool and Tottenham are close behind at 5/2 and 4/1 respectively. The Champions League always has plenty of free betting promos as featured on freeboots.uk , so be sure to check them out.
The last – and only – Champions League Final to be contested by two English clubs was in 2008, when Manchester United defeated Chelsea on penalties. Indeed, Chelsea are still in with a chance of making it to the final of the Europa League, with Betfair making them the 13/10 favourites ahead of Arsenal at 5/2. Both teams are firm favourites to progress through the semi-finals (Chelsea play Eintracht Frankfurt, while Arsenal have been drawn against Valencia) although fans will have a bit of travel headache as the final will be played in Baku, Azerbaijan on 29thMay.
All four English teams could make the finals
Fundamentally, it’s a good thing to see four English teams in European competition at this stage. For years, there was a notable decline in the clubs’ fortunes, especially when compared to the success of Real Madrid and Barcelona. The momentum seems to be back with the Premier League sides again, albeit Barcelona are firm favourites for the Champions League. Indeed, with Lionel Messi in such form, it will be hard to stop the Catalan giants.
While Liverpool must contend with Barcelona and the best player on the planet, a completely different puzzle confronts Tottenham. Ajax have been the darlings of the competition so far, a sleeping football giant awakened by going back to its roots of youth development and attacking football. Just a few weeks ago, Ajax were around 100/1 to win the tournament. After slaying Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus, they are priced at 9/2 today, and favourites to progress past Spurs.
So, there is a real chance of seeing not one, but two, all-English European finals this season. While Baku is an underrated jewel of a city, it’ll be a difficult – and expensive – trip to make from the UK. A reasonably priced flight to Madrid is not out of the question, however. And it could be worth booking before the semi finals have been completed. Because, if Liverpool and/or Spurs make it, there will be a rush for transport and tickets.