Liverpool vs Real Madrid Odds, Expert Pick: Target This Champions League Total

Liverpool vs Real Madrid Odds, Expert Pick: Target This Champions League Total article feature image
Credit:

Via Europa Press Sports/Getty Images. Pictured: Vinicius Jr of Real Madrid CF reacts after scoring goal during the La Liga Santander match between CA Osasuna and Real Madrid CF at El Sadar on February 18, 2023, in Pamplona, Spain.

  • Liverpool and Real Madrid meet for the first time since facing each other in the Champions League final last year.
  • Brad Cunningham breaks down both sides of the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Liverpool vs. Real Madrid Odds

Tuesday, Feb. 21
3 p.m. ET
CBS

Liverpool Odds

+125

Real Madrid Odds

+200
Draw+260
Over/Under2.5 (-138/ +114)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(-176/ +138)
Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest soccer odds here.

Liverpool and Real Madrid meet once again in the Champions League to decide who goes to the quarterfinals.

Liverpool have seemingly gotten things back on track after beating Newcastle 2-0 at St. James' Park, which marks back-to-back wins for the Reds. Liverpool was in dreadful form before those wins and now will have to shift their focus to defending one of the best offensive teams in the world. They were very unlucky to lose to Real Madrid in the Champions League final last season, so we'll see if they can get their revenge this time around.

Real Madrid are struggling this season. They are currently sitting eight points behind Barcelona in the La Liga table, so now their focus must be shifted to the Champions League. Carlo Ancelotti's men rode magical waves of luck and ridiculous finishing from Karim Benzema last Champions League, but will that luck run out this year?

Liverpool

Things have changed for Liverpool since that final. Last season they were only allowing 0.89 xG per match, but now they are allowing 1.43 xG per match as the problems persist in the midfield. When they had injuries in the midfield a while back, they went to a 4-5-1 midblock instead of their usual 4-3-3 high press, and it was actually very effective as it prevented teams from beating them in transition.

But, if Jurgen Klopp lets Real Madrid have the ball for fun, Liverpool have proven they don’t have a good enough defense to sit deep and defend against one of the best attacking sides in the world. 

Liverpool’s defense still hasn’t held an opponent other than Everton under 1.5 Expected Goals since Leicester on December 30th. Plus, Liverpool against the Big Six plus their two matches against Napoli in the Champions League has allowed 12.7 expected goals in seven matches.

Liverpool’s offense is still one of the best in the Premier League. The Reds are averaging 1.81 npxG per 90 minutes, and out of the World Cup break, they have created 15.7 Expected Goals in eight matches. However, they have only scored nine goals in the Premier League.

It looks like Darwin Nunez is going to be out, but maybe the best news that Liverpool could have gotten is Diogo Jota is back and healthy. We forget how important he was to Liverpool last season, putting up a 0.84 xG + xA per 90 minute rate, which was second on the team behind only Mo Salah.

Diogo Jota with the turn 🌪️

(via @LFC)pic.twitter.com/FEw3o7IoZ4

— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 13, 2023

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Real Madrid

Real Madrid in La Liga this season is averaging 2.14 xG per 90 minutes. That is the second-best mark across Europe’s top-five leagues behind only PSG in Ligue 1. They’ve also shown in the Champions League that they are perfectly capable of conceding possession and playing on the counter, and if Liverpool wants to make this match transitional, that will favor Real Madrid. 

🇧🇷 Vinícius Júnior last time out against Liverpool ⚽️@vinijr || #UCLpic.twitter.com/59v4EcJnwG

— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 20, 2023

The Real Madrid defense has not been good this season. They’ve put up decent Expected Goals numbers in La Liga, allowing only 0.77 npxG per 90 minutes, but a lot of that has come against lesser competition. Against Barcelona, Real Betis, Girona, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal, which are the top-five offenses below Real Madrid in La Liga, they have conceded 7.9 Expected Goals.

Plus, Thibaut Courtois isn’t really having that great of a season in net, as his post shot xG +/- is at -0.9. We are also only 10 days removed from Real Madrid giving up three goals to Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal in the FIFA Club World Cup final, so what do you think Liverpool is going to do? 

The good news for Real Madrid is they will have drastic advantages on the wings. Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo should operate in a ton of space against Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, who are not great defenders.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid Pick

This is obviously a rematch of the Champions League final last season where Liverpool were by far the better team but couldn’t take advantage of their chances. Liverpool outshot Real Madrid 24 to 4, Expected Goals were 2.2 to 0.9, but Thibaut Courtois stood on his head making nine saves and put up a +2.5 post-shot xG +/-, per fbref.com.

Given the struggles of both of these defense combined with how elite both of these offenses are, I think the total is far too low.

I have 3.24 goals projected for this match, so I love the value on Over 2.5 goals at -136 (FanDuel).


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