Real Madrid vs Liverpool Odds, Pick: Reds Dangerous in Champions League

Real Madrid vs Liverpool Odds, Pick: Reds Dangerous in Champions League article feature image

Kieran Cleeves/Getty. Pictured: Jurgen Klopp.

Real Madrid vs Liverpool Odds

Wed, Mar. 15
4 p.m. ET

Real Madrid Odds


Liverpool Odds

Over/Under2.5 (-198 / +150)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(-188 / +137)
Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.

Liverpool travel to Madrid on Wednesday with long shot odds to try and erase the damage from their 5-2 defeat at home in the opening leg of their round of 16 tie against Real Madrid last month.

The Reds will need to win by at least three goals in the first 90 minutes to continue the tie. Real Madrid haven't lost a game by three-plus goals since last March against Barcelona in La Liga.

Liverpool's inconsistent season of performances and results has continued in the last few weeks. Just when it looked as though Liverpool were turning the corner as a team with their historic 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United, they went to Bournemouth and lost 1-0 last weekend. Liverpool haven't been able to effectively string together good attacking output with consistent defense nearly enough.

Could they pull it off for one night as a massive underdog? Jurgen Klopp's side has excelled in this role in the past — the famous 4-0 comeback win against Barcelona at home in 2019 led to an eventual Champions League title. It'll be a bigger challenge away from home, but the Reds certainly have the firepower despite Real Madrid's Champions League aura.

Real Madrid Face History and Regression

Real Madrid's first leg performance has been lauded as another masterclass because of how it ended, but the path of getting there isn't nearly as rosy when you consider how the match really played out.

The Reds showed in the first half that they can be the superior side as their press overwhelmed Real and the Reds took an early 2-0 lead. The wheels came off for Liverpool after that — Alisson made an uncharacteristic and unlucky error on a pass to hand Real a goal to tie it just before half. Then, the Spanish champions scored off of a corner in the opening minutes of the second half.

Real Madrid deserve credit for not panicking down two early goals and their Champions League experience certainly plays a role in their confidence and ability to play from behind. But, they've also run absurdly well in the Champions League for more than a year now.

Scoring five goals on nine shots and 1 xG in the first match was a continuation of that. They’ve been incredibly efficient in the biggest moments, but this situation is not all that different from their matchup with Chelsea in last year’s round of 16.

Real Madrid had a two goal lead in the tie coming home and were totally outplayed for the first 70 minutes of the second leg. Chelsea went up 3-0 and it wasn’t until Real had their backs against the wall again and on the brink of elimination that they escaped defeat and won on aggregate by scoring late in regulation and once in extra time

Chelsea went into the match as high as +800 to advance and the Blues were in a rocky patch of performances themselves. This Real Madrid is just as flawed defensively and conceding more than 1 xG per match in a La Liga that's really down on attacking quality this season.

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Liverpool a High Variance Side

Liverpool’s defensive flaws remain very real on set pieces and in transition, but they’ve also shown that they’re capable of scoring goals in bunches when they’re firing.

The Reds just put up seven on Manchester United and caused similar problems pressing the Red Devils in build-up and forcing high turnovers. Real Madrid’s defense has some real holes and thus this lead is not nearly as safe as it seems.

The major difference between the Chelsea team that nearly came back against Real Madrid last season and this Liverpool side is the ability to control matches and field tilt away from home. Chelsea's elite counter-press was able to suffocate Real Madrid's attempts to control possession. Those high turnovers led to consistent Chelsea pressure and eventually goals.

Liverpool's press is considerably more inconsistent this season, as evidenced by the fact that the Reds' defense is 15th in xG allowed away from Anfield in the Premier League this season.

The second leg should start out similar to the first leg. I'm more inclined to believe in Liverpool's early match dominance than I am Real Madrid's second half showing after the Reds collapsed and conceded two deflected goals.

Real Madrid vs Liverpool Pick

Even though Real Madrid will gets their fair share of opportunities in transition and on the counter, the Reds' attack should turn this into a high variance contest that is played in a high event style.

Madrid conceded 2 xG in the first match and allowed 10.3 xGA in five matches against Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool last season.

The defense has also struggled to stop a fully healthy Barcelona — they conceded 2 xG in the first El Clasico this season and three more goals in the Spanish Super Cup. Their elite finishing from Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema and Rodyrgo has masked these flaws, but the flaws remain.

I’m betting Liverpool draw no bet at anything plus-money as the underdog — they’re the better team in my ratings and they are facing a big aggregate deficit — and I’m sprinkling on Liverpool to advance at +1600.

Picks: Liverpool – Draw No Bet (+100 or better), Liverpool – To Advance (+1600)

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