RYAN ON THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL: It’s the final installment of the season from Tipster HQ which means there is only one possible game worth talking about. It’s Barcelona and Juventus for the greatest prize in club football. It’s time to pick the winner of the UEFA Champions League for 2014/15.

The early market was far more cautious on the outcome than it looks now. Bettors backed Barca from the start but they were still far from convinced the Blaugrana would take care of Juventus. That has clearly changed in the last week with the market moving heavily in Barcelona’s favour. The outright is going to be a tough call here but if you are determined to stick with a straight-up play, going with Barcelona at 1.63 isn’t the worst choice you can make.

Personally, I like to add a drop of value into my bets and with this Barcelona team that can prove difficult to find. Since the turn of the year Lionel Messi has been a merciless game-winning machine. If he only scored lots of goals, it would be a problem for near any team but he is also one of the finest creators in history and right now he is playing angry. I expect Barcelona to take charge from the start in this one. Juventus can defend and keep it tight. Juventus have the players to score on the break. Juventus have single-handedly made Italian football relevant again. All of this is irrelevant. Lionel Messi and Barcelona are going to come out all guns blazing and I expect them to have control by the break. With that in mind my big bet is Barcelona/Barcelona at 2.54 on the Half-time/Full-time.

The first goal-scorer market comes down to one simple choice for most punters. Messi or Not Messi. The argument for Not Messi is decent. After all Barcelona don’t lack in attacking talent, Juventus have one or two decent goalscorers themselves, and who knows what might happen with the odd ill-timed deflection. You can already see where this is going. This is not just a regular La Liga game or any other round in the competition. It’s not the Clasico, it’s not the Copa del Rey final (in which Messi opened the scoring) and it’s not a league decider. In terms of stage and importance, this is the biggest show of them all. There is only one choice here. It’s not a case of whether you should even consider this market. It’s a case of whether you are smart enough to recognise the inevitable. Lionel Messi is going to open the scoring along with a can of you know what on Saturday night. Bet on Lionel Messi to score first at 4.6 and, everybody, Tipster HQ hopes you have a great summer.

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