Salah or Kane to score first in Champions League final?
Arsenal's quarter-century wait for a European trophy goes on after their shocking 4-1 capitulation against Chelsea in Baku. It was a bad night at the office for Unai Emery and this column, who admittedly went close to landing a 28/1 first goal scorer when Granit Xhaka clipped the crossbar with a pile driver early on. And so to Madrid, and the 2019 Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham.
Running total: -£89.70
First-time finalists Tottenham take on five-time winners Liverpool in what looks a mouth-watering final at the Wanda Metropolitano this weekend. If the semifinals are anything to go by, nothing is certain in Madrid. In the space of a wild 24 hours earlier this month both the Reds and then Spurs defied all football logic by coming back from the dead to beat Barcelona and Ajax respectively.
It's been a real slog for both teams, with Tottenham in particular defying the odds time and time again to reach this stage. Nobody fancied them to get out of their group after three matches, but they dug in and have produced when it mattered for Mauricio Pochettino. However this just feels like Liverpool's time. They went within a whisker of landing the Premier League title and ended their domestic season with nine straight wins.
In terms of form this season Liverpool beat Spurs 2-1 home and away, and it's a brave punter who bets there won't be goals again. Indeed, in recent years Liverpool have dominated this fixture, with Spurs winning just one of the previous 14 meeting between these English powerhouses. Tottenham are a match for anyone in their day but this is uncharted territory for most of their stars and the bet is for Liverpool to finally deliver for Jurgen Klopp.
Selection: £8 on Liverpool to win at 19/20 with bet365.
The First Goal Flutter
Despite not seeing any game time since April 9, Harry Kane is priced up at just 9/2 to score first on Saturday. The Spurs talisman has been out with an ankle ligament problem and has yet to prove his fitness to Pochettino, but the general consensus is if he's fit he has to start, such is his influence on this Spurs side.
One player who is fully fit though is Mohamed Salah, who is a 15/4 shot to score first and 11/10 to bag anytime with bet365. Salah has hit 26 goals for Liverpool this term and, despite not scaling the heights he reached in the 2017-18 campaign, he remains the Reds' biggest threat against Tottenham. The Egyptian has notched first on 10 occasions for Liverpool this season and looks primed to make up for the heartache of that 2018 final.
Selection: £4 on Salah to score first at 15/2 with bet365.
The Wildcard Tip
After weighing in with some priceless goals this season Sadio Mane is once again near the head of the first goal scorer betting in Madrid. However the 25/1 about Mane being the first player to be carded looks more interesting. The Senegal star has committed 22 fouls in this season's competition, more than any other player, so could be worth a small punt to be the first player shown a card.