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Corners And Cautions Are Champion Bets

May 24, 2013
Robben and Błaszczykowski

Betting on corner kicks and cautions in the UEFA Champions League final between Bayern Munchen and Borussia Dortmund hold the most appeal in the first all-German decider.

The beauty of the Wembley Stadium showdown is that there is plenty of form on which to base one’s bets. After all, the match will be the fifth time this season that Bayern and Dortmund have met each other after two German Bundesliga games and two clashes in domestic cup competitions.

Bayern has won two and drawn two of its four matches versus Dortmund and, having won the German Bundesliga title by 25 points and thrashed Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, one can understand why FC Hollywood is the normal-time favourite at odds of around 4-5, with bookmakers quoting odds of around 4-9 about the Bavarians winning their fifth European championship.

While one would be quite within one’s rights to back Bayern to beat Dortmund in 90 minutes at odds of around 4-5, delve into the various exotic markets and one would find even better value bets relating to corner kicks and cautions.

Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is highly likely to field a defensive-minded 4-3-3 team that looks like 4-5-1 for long spells instead of his usual 4-2-3-1 side. Klopp’s hands are tied because of Bayern-bound Mario Gotze’s hamstring injury so his underdog team will probably line up without a proper attacking midfielder and pack the centre of the park with bodies whose task is to deny space to the favourites.

This term’s four games between Dortmund and Bayern have been typified by Dortmund defending narrowly and allowing Bayern to have possession in wide areas but limiting their time on the ball in central zones, particularly in and around the penalty area. One can expect Dortmund’s tactics to provide Bayern wide boys Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben with ample opportunities to force corner kicks. Bayern forced seven and 11 corner kicks in the two most competitive of this season’s four meetings – one was a pre-season German Super Cup tie and one of the German Bundesliga clashes took place after the Bavarians had clinched the title – so an average of nine corner kicks in meaningful matches is the basis for a bet.

Bookmakers are offering many UEFA Champions League final corner kick bets, the pick of which is probably the option that enables one to get odds of around 6-5 about Bayern having more than six corner kicks during normal time.

Also available at a similar price – odds of 11-8 are out there – is Bayern to collect more bookings points – yellow and red cards – than Dortmund. Bayern is the outsider of the two sides with some bookmakers, probably because they think that the favourite will dominate possession and, therefore, the underdog will be more likely to get into the bad books of the referee, Italian whistle blower Nicola Rizzoli.

In all likelihood Bayern will dominate possession but the manner in which the game should unfold points towards the favourite being the one that oversteps the disciplinary mark. Dortmund will attempt to hit Bayern on the counter attack whenever the opportunity presents itself and that is when the likes of defensive midfielders Javier Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger will do whatever it takes to stop the fast break. They are in Bayern’s team to do that very job.

Bayern had four players cautioned and one expelled in its last match against Dortmund to win the booking points head to head by 75 to 10. And the meeting of the giants before that saw Bayern collect three yellows to Dortmund’s zero.

Punters who are not adverse to have a speculative punt could do worse than back Martinez and Schweinsteiger to be the first player shown a card. Both Bayern battlers are trading at odds of around 12-1 so punters who dutch the duo can get odds of around 11-2. Odds of around 9-1 about Martinez and Schweinsteiger would be nearer the mark so there is value regardless of which way one wishes to attack the market.

Finally, returning to the game result itself. Bayern should be shorter than 4-5 to beat Dortmund in normal time. Bayern has had the better of all four clashes this season and Dortmund will sorely miss Gotze, who will become the most expensive German football of all time when he moves to FC Hollywood after the UEFA Champions League final. In any case, we have recommended the best online sportsbooks for betting on the Champions League below.

About the author

Eric Roberts
Eric Roberts

Sports Journalist

Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.