The Goalscorer Gamble: Lewandowski the value scorer in Champions League final

25May 2013



Robert Lewandowski may well be on his way to Bayern Munich this summer, but Dan Fitch still expects him to inflict some damage on them when they face Borussia Dortmund  in the Champions League Final.


Normally I am spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting my goalscorer gambles for the weekend. Matches from across Europe featuring the worlds deadliest strikers  and most prolific goalscoring midfielders compete for my attention. A girl's head scarcely knows which way to turn.


This weekend is different. There are only about five games being show on TV, as the season winds down to a close. Perhaps the lack of choice will focus my attention  and I certainly don't have any dilemmas as to which match should kick things off.


Over at Wembley Stadium, the home of English football will play host to a battle of Germany's best, as Bayern Munich take on Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League  Final.


Robert Lewandowski is the favourite to score at any time in the final, at odds of 3.10. On Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals in this season's competition, with the Pole bagging 10 in 12 appearances.


Dortmund have scored in 15 of their last 16 games against Bayern and when you combine that statistic with Lewandowski's 36 goals in 48 appearances, then odds of just  over 2/1 start to look very attractive.


From Saturday's Champions League final we move to Sunday's Scottish Cup final. Hampden Park will be a sea of green and white when Celtic face Hibernian, with two  rivals goalscorers going head-to-head.


Both Celtic's Gary Hooper and Hibernian's Leigh Griffiths have scored 28 goals in all competitions this season, yet their odds to score first are very different.


Hooper is the favourite at 5.0, while Griffiths trades at 9.6. Celtic are heavy favourites to win and that obviously reduces Hooper's odds, but I've noticed that he's been consistently too short a price since January, when his form dipped having failed to secure a move to England.


Griffiths looks the better value to me, especially considering that Celtic have often struggled in the big domestic events this season. Their League Cup campaign ended  with a 3-2 loss to St Mirren, while they made this final courtesy of a 4-3 victory over Dundee United.


In short, there should be goals and if anyone is likely to score them for Hibs, it's Griffiths. The last time I backed him to score first, he whacked a free kick in  off the underside of the bar against Hearts, only for a myopic referee to somehow come to the conclusion that it hadn't crossed the line. At least we know that it's  unlikely that Griffiths could be so unlucky again.


Next we're off to Spain. We start with the rather vital clash between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid. The hosts are in fourth position in La Liga, level on points with  fifth-placed Valencia.


A victory will be a tall order against a Madrid side unbeaten in 15 league games. It's rare that I say this, but I really like the odds of Cristiano Ronaldo finding  the net. Against quality opposition, away from home, his price has risen to 1.81 to find the net.


With 55 goals in 55 games, that's about as generous a price as you're likely to find on Ronaldo. Snap it up.


Real's rivals Barcelona face their local derby against Espanyol. Unlike Madrid, their talisman is not available to them, with Lionel Messi still missing through  injury.


In such circumstances it's difficult to predict how Barca will shuffle the pack. Unusually, I'm going to take a punt on a player's poor goalscoring form and keep my  fingers crossed.


Pedro has only scored nine goals this season, which is the reason for his price of 15.5 to score the last goal. He may not be finding the net for his club, but his goalscoring expolits for his country prove that he hasn't lost his touch and make him a risk worth taking.


Finally we head to England and the Championship play-off final between Crystal Palace and Watford. With Palace missing their ace marksman Glenn Murray, then it looks like the value is with Watford's strikers.


There's very little in it between Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra in terms of goals this season, but the Czech international stands head and shoulders above his team-mate  in terms of ability. We're backing Vydra to prove his class on the big occasion at 2.35.


Recommended Bets

Best Bet: Back Lewandowski to score at 3.1

Back Griffiths to score at 9.6

Back Ronaldo to score at 1.81

Back Pedro to score last at 15.5

Back Vydra to score at 2.35



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Keywords: The Goalscorer Gamble, Lewandowski, Champions League final

Source: Betfair

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