Euro Soccer Roundup – 2024 Champions League Final Preview

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The end of the European soccer season is here, but we are ready with our 2024 Champions League final preview! With this season’s Champions League final around a week away, now is the perfect time for you to find out everything you need to know about the battle between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid. 

Last weekend we saw the culmination of the Premier League as Manchester City were crowned English champions for the fourth consecutive season. Meanwhile, we also saw Atalanta win their first-ever European trophy as they finally ended Bayer Leverkusen’s incredible unbeaten run earlier this week.

Champions League Final Preview – Will Borussia Dortmund cause an upset?

The English Championship playoff final will hit our screens this Sunday, while we have a Manchester derby in the FA Cup final this weekend as well. We’ve got an abundance of high-quality finals on the schedule coming up. Therefore, you need to make sure you’re keeping up with our weekly soccer roundups in order to find out everything you need to know before making your picks! 

We’ve got our in-depth Champions League final preview coming up later on, including the latest odds, route to the final and our predictions! Let’s not forget that Euro 2024 and Copa America 2024 will shortly be arriving as well. Sports Hub will continue to provide you with the information you need ahead of the major international tournaments this summer. 

Premier League Recap

The 2023-24 Premier League season finally came to an end last week. There were no shocks, unfortunately, for the neutrals, or for Arsenal fans. Man City went on to win their fourth straight title, becoming the first team to do so in the English top-flight. 

Phil Foden has been the star of the campaign, deservedly being named the Premier League Player of the Season. It was rather fitting to see the 23-year-old secure the title for the Cityzens with a brace against West Ham United in a 3-1 triumph on the final day. The Gunners had to battle hard for a 2-1 win at home to Everton, but they couldn’t manage to lift the trophy as they needed City to drop points. 

Tottenham Hotspur secured fifth-place following a comfortable 3-0 win away to Sheffield United, whilst Chelsea finished in sixth. Newcastle United claimed seventh with a 4-2 victory against Brentford. Manchester United’s disappointing season ended with an eighth-place finish.

At the bottom end of the table, the three relegated teams were confirmed prior to the final day. Sheffield United, Burnley and Luton Town all failed to survive in their first year back in the Premier League. 

Championship Playoff Final Preview

After Leeds United sent Norwich City out of the playoffs with a dominant 4-0 win in their Championship playoff semifinal, Southampton sealed their spot in the final following a 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion. The two teams will now meet in the Championship playoff final on Sunday, May 26. 

  • When: Sunday, May 26, 2024
  • Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
  • Watch: ESPN+
  • Odds: Leeds (+125) / Draw (+239) / Southampton (+224)

It will be the Whites or the Saints who join Leicester City and Ipswich Town in the Premier League next season. The Championship playoff final is always a big day on the English footballing calendar, and a crack at playing in the Premier League will deliver great financial gain for each side. Known as the ‘richest game in soccer’ the two teams will be fighting for the luxurious prize of Premier League prize money and revenue. Leeds are currently the favorites at +125. 

Recent Form

The Yorkshire side had an underwhelming end to their regular season, losing four of their final six games to fall into third-place. However, they demonstrated their quality at home to Norwich in the 2nd leg of their Championship playoff semifinal, cruising to a vehement 4-0 victory at Elland Road. It won’t be easy against Russell Martin’s Southampton, nonetheless, but they have still been listed as the favorites heading into the match. 

As for Southampton, they had an underwhelming end to their regular campaign too. They lost three of their final four games en route to a fourth-placed finish. Despite drawing 0-0 with West Brom in the 1st leg of their semifinal, the Saints’ quality showed in the second at St. Mary’s Stadium, with an Adam Armstrong brace helping them into the final. 

Martin has been able to guide his Southampton side to two victories already over the Whites this season. Armstrong was the main man in a 3-1 home win back in September, whilst the former Blackburn Rovers man also got on the scoresheet in a 2-1 win at Elland Road towards the end of the season. Despite this, Southampton enter the matchup this weekend as +224 underdogs. With 23 goals and 13 assists in the league this season, there’s no doubt that Armstrong will be the key man for the Saints on Sunday. 

Record in the playoffs

Leeds haven’t had the best of luck when it comes to playing in the playoffs. They have never gained promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs, and they have lost in two finals. They last played in the playoffs back in 2019, failing to advance past the semifinals against Derby County. In their last playoff final appearance, the Whites suffered a 3-0 defeat against Watford. 

Whoever wins on Sunday, they will earn their maiden victory in the Championship playoffs. So too have Southampton failed to ever get promoted this way. Their only appearance in the playoffs was in 2007 when they were also eliminated by Derby. 

Prediction

The playoff final is always a nervy affair, and quite often it is a cagey match. The last three successive finals have seen less than 2.5 goals scored, signaling that the Under could be a good bet. However, both Leeds and Southampton have the ability to score plenty of goals, proven with over 2.5 goals landing in both of their two head-to-heads this season.

Still, under 2.5 goals has landed 52.6% of the time across all Championship playoff finals in history, while ten of the last 11 finals have seen under 2.5 goals after regulation time. I’m expecting a close matchup between the two which could go to extra time and penalties. That’s when the goals could come, so backing the Under during 90 minutes looks to be a good play. The under 2.5 goals line is currently priced at -111. 

I have spoken about the importance of targeting unders before as they often present greater value. This is because bettors usually prefer to back the Over due to wanting high-scoring games that provide more entertainment. With the latest playoff final trends heavily favoring the Under, I recommend backing under 2.5 goals this Sunday. 

BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals (-111)

Europa League Final 

In last week’s European soccer roundup, we previewed the Europa League final between Atalanta and Bayer Leverkusen. I backed Leverkusen to win inside 90 minutes, but Atalanta surprised everyone and picked up the win, despite being listed as +339 underdogs before the match. 

Gian Piero Gasperini finally won his maiden major trophy, lifting the Europa League title thanks to a phenomenal hat-trick by Ademola Lookman. The Bergamo-based club sealed an incredibly impressive 3-0 win against the newly-crowned German champions. 

That ended Leverkusen’s seismic unbeaten streak. Die Werkself had gone the whole season unbeaten, including an undefeated Bundesliga-winning campaign. However, Wednesday night was a step too far for Xabi Alonso’s men. La Dea put in a richly-deserved performance, whilst Lookman had the night of his life as he took home the match ball. 

Gasperini has sealed another Champions League appearance for Atalanta after winning the Europa League, and their self-sustaining approach continues to prove fruitful. Meanwhile, Leverkusen have another final to focus on this weekend in the DFB-Pokal final against 1. FC Kaiserslautern on Saturday, May 25. My Champions League final preview is coming up next!

Champions League Final Preview

So, we’ve come to the feature of this week’s Euro soccer roundup as we dive into our 2024 Champions League final preview between Dortmund and record winners Real Madrid. Can BVB get revenge for their final loss in 2013, or will Los Blancos secure a staggering 15th title? 

It’s Germany vs Spain in the final at Wembley Stadium, London on June 1. Englishman Jude Bellingham will be returning home for the final as a Madridista, while veteran Marco Reus will be featuring in his final match for Dortmund. These are just some of the storylines as we edge closer to the most distinguished match in European club soccer. Take a look at the key information in our Champions League final preview below:

  • When: Saturday, June 1, 2024
  • Where: Wembley Stadium, London 
  • What: 69th European Cup Final (32nd since becoming the Champions League)
  • Who: Dortmund (+400) vs Real Madrid (-164)
  • Watch: CBS, CBS Sports Network 
  • Current Champions: Manchester City 

Champions League final preview – Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid

In spite of a poor domestic campaign in the Bundesliga, where BVB finished in fifth-place, they have gone on a seriously impressive run to reach the Champions League final. They will be playing in their third-ever final at the start of June, and will be searching for their second European Cup trophy. 

Soccer fans will have been accustomed to Real Madrid’s success in Europe’s premier competition over the last decade. Los Blancos have won five of the last 10 Champions League finals, last doing so in 2022 following a 1-0 win over Liverpool. Yet again, they are in another UCL final. What’s a Champions League final preview without Real Madrid, huh? 

Not many experts would have made the call for Dortmund to reach the final two this season, but they are deservedly here having suffered just one defeat across their past 11 European outings. It’s their rigid defense, led by stalwart Mats Hummels, that has helped them reach the final. BVB have kept six clean sheets from their 12 UCL matches this term. 

Still yet to suffer a single loss in Europe so far this season, Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid are hoping to make it 13 games unbeaten when they head to England’s capital next Saturday. Their offense has been spectacular, scoring 26 goals in total in Europe this season. However, they have managed to keep just three clean sheets in the UCL this season. The Spanish champions have suffered just one defeat across their 37 league games this season. 

Latest Odds

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been analyzing and tracking the odds. Just one week out, we can see the latest odds in our Champions League final preview. 

Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid Moneyline Odds

  • Dortmund (+400)
  • Draw (+330)
  • Real Madrid (-164)

Last week, Real Madrid were priced at -161. They have gotten marginally shorter in price, while the draw has shifted slightly from +340 to +330. The chances of the game not being decided after 90 minutes, therefore, is now more likely, with Dortmund’s price to win in regulation time getting longer from +390 to +400. 

Let’s also take a look at the odds just to lift the trophy: 

  • Dortmund (+250)
  • Real Madrid (-333)

The odds on either team to lift the trophy haven’t changed since last week. Real Madrid are the very heavy favorites to win the title. They’ve been here and done it before, and that past experience will help them greatly. However, Dortmund did reach the final of the 2013 tournament which was also held at Wembley. Can they get revenge over ten years on? 

Totals Odds

Another popular market that cappers will look to capitalize on is the totals market. Below you can find the latest odds: 

  • Over 2.5 goals (-137)
  • Under 2.5 goals (+117)

It’s interesting to note that bettors can find much greater value on the Under. A $100 bet on under 2.5 goals would land $117. However, if you were to back the Over, you would have to stake $137 to earn $100. The last four straight Champions League finals have all ended 1-0, whilst under 2.5 goals has landed in five successive seasons. The Over last hit in 2018. 

Dortmund’s strong defense was the key as they got past Paris Saint-Germain in the semifinals, keeping clean sheets in both legs. Under 2.5 goals hit in both matches, and it has landed in nine of their 12 UCL games so far. 

The Over has been more prevalent in Real Madrid’s European games this term. Over 2.5 goals has landed in eight of their 12 UCL games, with a 75% hit rate over their last four outings. Goals have been spread across their attacking options, with semifinal hero Joselu, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo all recording five each. 

Route to the final 

Looking back at the group in which Dortmund topped, it isn’t actually much of a shock to see them in the final. They topped the ‘group of death’, where they were drawn against PSG, Newcastle United and Milan. Edin Terzic’s side lost just one of their six group games – a 2-0 loss in Paris – but they went unbeaten in their remaining five, picking up back-to-back wins over Newcastle and then Milan. 

Jadon Sancho and Reus got the crucial goals in the 2nd leg of their Round of 16 tie against PSV Eindhoven to secure a 3-1 aggregate victory. Dortmund then had to come back from a 1st-leg 2-1 deficit against Atletico Madrid to reach the semifinals, beating the Spanish side 4-2 at Signal Iduna Park in the 2nd. Terzic displayed different qualities in the semifinals, limiting an affluent PSG offense to beat them 2-0 on aggregate and set up a tie with Los Blancos. 

Champions League Final Preview – Will Vinicius Jr. step up?

Real Madrid are still somehow managing to hit new heights when it comes to playing in Europe. This is the first time they have reached the final without losing a single match. They topped Group C, winning all six of their games against Napoli, Braga and Union Berlin. That set them up with a tie against RB Leipzig which they edged past with a 2-1 aggregate triumph. 

Their salivating quarter-final clash was one of the most entertaining ties in the UCL. Going up against reigning champions Man City was always going to be a blockbuster, and the two teams unduly delivered. The 1st leg ended in a 3-3 draw at Santiago Bernabeu, before Real needed penalties to knock out the Cityzens following a 1-1 stalemate after extra time in the 2nd leg. 

The semifinal matchup against Bayern Munich supplied us with some superb drama as well. The two sides played out a thrilling 2-2 draw in Munich in the 1st leg. Bayern were on the cusp on reaching the final as they had a one-goal lead with less than two minutes of normal time to go. However, super sub, and the most unlikely of heroes in Joselu, scored a late double to seal a 4-3 aggregate win for Madrid. Be sure to take a look at my Champions League final preview prediction coming up!

Prediction

It would be a big upset to see Dortmund win the Champions League this season, especially after taking a look at all the statistics in my Champions League final preview. That is reflected by their long odds of +250 to lift the trophy. However, Atalanta provided a shock when they beat Leverkusen in the Europa League final earlier this week. 

It’s hard to look past Real Madrid, but neither of their moneyline odds or price to lift the trophy is showing enough value for me to take a risk on them. Therefore, I recommend fading them here. 

A bet I do like, however, is the Under. I was hot on this a couple of weeks ago in my early predictions, and the price is still offering great value, especially when looking at the latest trends. Although Real Madrid have seen a large number of goals in the UCL this term, Dortmund will look to sit deep and negate the speed of the likes of Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo. The price of +117 for the Under to land inside 90 minutes, therefore, seems like a smart choice. 

BEST BET: Under 2.5 Goals

What’s Coming Up On The European Soccer Schedule? 

We’ve gone through everything you need to know in my Champions League final preview. What are your predictions? Will Real Madrid continue in their European success, or will Dortmund go against the odds once more? It should be an enthralling final, and I can’t wait for it to arrive. 

Be sure you use Sports Hub’s quality software to see all of our cappers picks ahead of the Champions League final. Our experts are sure to flood the system ahead of the European club soccer showpiece. 

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With plenty of finals coming up, you need to make sure that you’re keeping up to date with all the scheduling for the Euro soccer. Below you can find all of the key information you need!

  • FA Cup Final: We’ve got a tantalizing Manchester derby in the English FA Cup final. It’s Manchester City vs Manchester United this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. ET. City were crowned Premier League champions last weekend and will be hoping to add another trophy to their extensive cabinet. As for United, they need a trophy to save their dreadful campaign. Could it be Erik Ten Hag’s last game in charge as boss of the Red Devils?
  • Saturday: More top soccer action will be on display as we have games from Serie A and La Liga on the schedule. This weekend is the final round of fixtures in both leagues. Leverkusen also face off against Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal final. Kick off is at 2:00 p.m. ET.
  • Championship Playoff Final: Leeds United will take on Southampton at Wembley Stadium, London in the Championship playoff final. They will be battling it out for the final spot in the Premier League next season. It will be a high-stakes games with a lot of financial incentives to play for.
  • Sunday: Serie A and La Liga have more games on Sunday as well. The main highlights are Lazio vs Sassuolo and Atalanta vs Torino. Empoli and Udinese are both in action as well, and they are still fighting for their survival.
  • Bundesliga Relegation Playoff: Dusseldorf and Bochum are fighting for their spot in the Bundesliga next term in the Bundesliga relegation playoff on Monday. Kick off is at 2:00 p.m. ET.
  • Champions League Final: Saturday, June 1 is the date of the main event of the Euro soccer season. The Champions League final. I hope my Champions League final preview has provided you with everything you need. It’s Dortmund vs Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium, London. The game starts at 3:00 p.m. ET.

That’s the conclusion of our Euro soccer roundup with the main feature being my Champions League final preview. We’ve got some time before the primary fixture, but there’s a number of high-quality finals coming up this weekend that soccer fans NEED to watch. It’s been a great season with plenty more twists, turns and drama on the way!