Liverpool legend Michael Owen has backed his former club Real Madrid to win the Champions League tonight.
Real will take on their city-rivals Atletico Madrid in the final of Europe’s premier club competition at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side will head into the encounter as the favourites, but they will be under immense pressure to deliver the goods.
This is the first time since 2002 that Real have reached the final of the Champions League. In the past three seasons under Jose Mourinho, Los Blancos failed to progress beyond the semi-finals, but this term Italian tactician Ancelotti has crossed that hurdle.
However, having been chasing their La Decima for 12 years, Real fans will be expecting the players to give their all against Spanish champions Atletico and ‘bring home’ the European Cup. Owen, who played for Madrid during the 2004-05 season, believes that is exactly what will happen.
‘Most eyes in the build-up to the game have been on Cristiano Ronaldo back on home soil and the Portuguese superstar, who has scored a record 16 Champions League goals already this term, is a warm favourite to score the opener and be voted Man of the Match, but I believe Gareth Bale can make the difference in what I think will be a 2-1 win for the Whites’, he wrote in his Betvictor.com column.
Tonight’s match promises to be a very exciting contest and should be an open affair. The pressure will be on Real, no doubt, but players such as Ronaldo, Bale, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric are accustomed to such pressure.