Soccer betting fans who are sticklers for statistics would note that the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday 28th is actually Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid Part 213 or so. In fact, this is probably not even the first time the square off in European competition. However, this is the second time that the two teams will do battle for the UCL trophy. Part 1 came in 2014 when Real dramatically tied the match in injury time and then proceeded to – in much less dramatic fashion – to crush Atlético into cosmic particles to the surprise of none who bet on soccer.
Some things have changed since that fateful day in Lisbon, while others have remained. One of the constants is Atlético’s manager Diego Simeone, who will certainly attempt to avenge the loss of two years ago. People who bet on soccer will remember that back then Simeone was a rookie of sorts – making his UEFA Champions League debut as a manager against an experienced and successful coach (Carlo Ancelotti, who had reached that stage three times before with AC Milan, two of which he won). Now the tables have turned and the shoe is on the other foot. Not only has Simeone achieved stability, but Real’s manager Zinedine Zidane is in first head coaching gig, as well as being the team’s third coach since the 2014 UCL final.
Historically, Real’s managers have never enjoyed a particularly strong job security, and yet Los Blancos have managed to be more historically successful than the other city team. That must have something to do with the actual players. Both squads pretty much retain the same core roster from 2014 with a few notable additions and subtractions. Real’s two major absences from that time are Angel Di Maria and Iker Casillas. Di Maria was even named man of the match – and rightly so. Since then, the Argentine winger passed through Manchester United and now plays for Paris Saint-Germain. Iker Casillas place was filled by the amazing Keylor Navas who does not cease to impress the soccer betting world with his amazing saves.
It’s these head-scratching decisions by Real’s management that suck the drive out of the team: Di Maria was Fernando Redondo all over again. Despite the upper management faults, soccer betting fans who put their money on Real Madrid at least can breathe easier with the form at their goalkeeping position as it has been a high point for them statistically all throughout the Champions League with Keylor Navas. As for Atlético, they lost David Villa and Diego Costa, but still count on Koke and Fernando Torres, and have added Antoine Griezmann. Real Madrid on the other hand, Real has kept the services of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema, and others. All things considered, soccer betting fans know that sometimes, the more things change the more they remain the same – and in this case, the players may have changed, but the song will remain the same.