2011 Champions League Final Betting Analysis
bettingexpert blog editor. Always taking the alternative route to finding the value.
We come once more to the highlight of the football season – the Champions League Final. And this, the 2011 edition, serves us up a final, the likes of which only makes you wish the season wasn't coming to an end. It's the best team in England - Manchester United, playing before a home nation crowd at the nations most famous stadium against the best team in Spain - Barcelona, boasting the best player in the world.
Both teams are poised and primed having completed this seasons domestic duties. It's the final we knew was coming and the final we wanted to have. (Sorry Schalke fans, you would've just ruined everyone else's fun) Currently the bookmakers have Barcelona as 2.05 favourites, while Man United holding at around the 3.85 mark, with the draw a solid 3.40. The handicap remains -0.5 to Barcelona with the Over/Under hovering at around the 2 to 2.25 goal mark.
The clubs have met 3 times since April of 2008, with each claiming a victory and remaining match a 0-0 draw. There have been just 3 goals scored in those meetings. The most recent meeting was the 2009 Final which saw Barcelona score twice, Eto in the 10th minute followed by Messi scoring in the 70th minute to seal the title.
Both clubs have looked close to certain finalists this campaign. Manchester United have not given up a defeat on their way to Wembley, claiming 9 victories from 12 starts, while Barcelona suffered one defeat, an away loss to Arsenal, underdogs paying 3.89 for the win.
The clubs have surrendered just 12 goals combined, at an average of half a goal conceded per game, with United giving up just 4 goals to this point of the season. Combined, the clubs are Under 2.5 goals 15-9 this Champions League season. This form has dated back over their last 60 games each, with the clubs going Under 2.5 goals a combined 52-68 over that stretch.
AGAINST THE ODDS
As you would expect, both clubs have proven to be profitable when backing them for the win this past Champions League campaign, with United claiming +6.42 units at even stakes from 12 starts, for a return of 54%. Meanwhile if you had backed Barcelona at even stakes for the win, you would have gouged out a profit of 0.07 units. Conversely, had you back both clubs to lose each game on the way to the final, you would be down 20.11 units.
If we look at the last 60 Champions League games played by each club, we see that Manchester United has proven the only club of the two, to be profitable at even stakes for the win, being +11.95 from 60 games for a return of 19.9%. Had you backed Barcelona however in each of their last 60 CL games, you would be down 4.19 units, a return of -7%. The most favourable outcome to have backed in Barcelona games over that same stretch, is for the Draw, where you would have come away with a profit of 7.44 units, a return of 12.4%.
When we look at the form against the odds of both clubs at the completion of their 2010/2011 domestic league campaigns, we see that both have been profitable when backing the draw, with Man United going +6.39 at even stakes and Barcelona going +6.76, for a combined +13.15, a return of 17.3%. Betting the draw in Man United games when the Red Devils were playing away from home was especially profitable, with a +19.39 record, a return of 102%.
OVERS AND UNDERS
The goal total line for the game is around the 2 to 2.25 mark. Barcelona have combined with their opponents for at least 2 goals in 25 of their last 30 Champions League games, only going over the 2 goal mark in 13 of their last 30. Meanwhile, Man United have combined with their opponents for at least 2 goals in 18 of their last 30 Champions League contests, going over 2 goals in 14 of those 30 games.
When we look at the how the clubs have scored in their last 30, and compare those figures with scoring totals in the last 20 Champions League Finals, we can see that the line seems a reasonable estimation of the goal total for the the 2011 final, though we might consider it to be slightly low. 14 of the last 20 Champions League Finals have ended with a goal total of at least 2, with 9 of those 20 contests ending with a goal total of 3 or more.
We can also see that in their last 30 Champions League games, 13 of United's 30 games have ended with goal totals of 1 or 2 goals, while 12 of Barcelona's games have ended with a goal total of 2.
TIMING OF GOALS
When we consider the last 20 Champions League Finals, we can find a few soft spots for scoring as well as defense. Just 1 of the 45 goals scored in the last 20 finals was scored between the 16th and 25th minute, despite 7 goals (15.5% of all goals) scored within the opening 15 minutes.
We can also see that 11 goals (24% of all goals) have been scored in the last 10 minutes of the opening half, with 7 of those goals scored beyond the 40th minute and into injury time. Additionaly, 18% of all goals in the last 20 finals, a total of 8, have been scored between the 66th and 75th minute.
When we look at United's scoring chart, we see that in their last 30 Champions League outings, they have scored 34% of their total of 50 goals between the 71st and 90th minute while Barcelona have give up 32% of their conceded goals over the same stretch of games, between the 46th and 65th minute. We can also note that United hasn’t scored often between the 16th and 40th minute, scoring just 6 of their 50 goals within that time frame, a period where Barcelona have given up just 6 goals themselves in their last 30 CL games.
When we consider Barcelona's scoring, we see that 37% of their goals have been scored between the 21st and 45th minute, a total of 22 goals. We can also see that Barcelona have scored 14 of their 60 goals in this last 30 Champions League games between the 76th and 90th minute, a period where United have surrendered 7 of their 23 conceded goals over that same span of games.
The value here is with the Draw. Barcelona are certain favourites, but considering their form against the odds over their recent span of both Champions League and domestic league games, I like the 3.40 being offered at most bookmakers for the draw at the end of normal time.
If we're thinking Overs and Unders, it's especially tough. I do think the bookmakers have this one about right so I would be hesitant to take either side. I do however think that the 3.20 you can get on the normal time total being 2 goals represents some reasonable value.
As for the timing of goals, I like the first goal to be scored between the 31st minute and halftime, paying 5.00 and given the figures we've discussed, I would expect that to be a Barcelona goal, where odds of 2.20 can found for Barcelona's 1st goal to be scored anytime beyond the 31st minute.
I also love for their to be a goal scored between the 61st and 75th minute as well as United to score their first goal beyond the 76th minute.
As far as final prediction, I think we could well see a 1-1 normal time score. Paying 7.00 this looks like the value bet for me, with Barcelona to lead 1-0 at the half paying 3.25 and leading with any scoreline at the half, paying 2.60.
For the best range of Champions League Final match odds, exotics and proposition bets, I recommend William Hill.
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amazing display andrew of how to use and interpret stats, great work once again. i think for me this is going to be a leave alone game, its just to close to call, im hoping for a barca win.
Andrew another brilliant article here sir. I agree with this tip here and Paddy power in England are offering a money back special if Barca win this game in 90 mins so I think they are fairly confident that if Barca win here they will do it in extra time. Thank u for taking the time out to provide information of this quality sir......
Great post, Andrew! Again.. I really like all the data and the visualization of it. Just placed a bet for 1-1 at William Hill! Thomas