Liverpool and Real Madrid will be coming into this fixture as two of the best teams in Europe as of now, making the Champions League final a highly anticipated match. They will travel to Stade de France at Saint-Denis as they look to add to their trophy tally for this campaign.
Liverpool got through their group emphatically, having won all six games against strong opposition. Real Madrid, meanwhile, had some slip-ups, particularly against CL debutants Sheriff in the group stage. Despite that, they were the group toppers showcasing their ability to overcome setbacks.
Liverpool were able to hold off an Inter Milan scare in the second leg of the round of 16 tie. Benfica were their opponents in the quarter-finals as they did run into some defensive trouble but were comfortably qualified for the finals. They also faced problems from a giant-killing Villarreal side in the semis, particularly in the second leg, as was the case in the previous rounds. However, Jurgen Klopp’s side showed great resilience to get through the obstacles and reach the finals.
Real Madrid continued to show their ability to overcome problems as they dropped some of the best performances in this season against the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in the round of 16, quarters and semi-finals, respectively. Their comeback victories make up for an interesting final as Liverpool showed similar patterns at times in the second leg.
The Reds would be looking to enact revenge on Los Blancos for the 3-1 loss in the 2019 Champions League final. That being said, Liverpool would need to be wary of Real Madrid having lost once again with a similar scoreline to the Spanish side in the quarters of the 2020-21 CL.
Player to Watch: Alisson Becker
Players like Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane or Virgil van Dijk would probably pop up in people’s minds when thinking about Liverpool’s stand-out performers. However, it is Alisson who stands at the top as the shot-stopper has been consistent throughout this season.
There have been several occasions when he stepped up to stop clear cut opportunities which could be decisive against a strong Real Madrid side. Having earned 27 clean sheets from 52 matches this season, he would hope to continue that in the final as well.
Real Madrid Preview
Carlo Ancelotti’s side has shown once again this term why they are considered the undisputed kings when it comes to Champions League. Three comebacks in succession are quite an impressive feat indeed, indicating the stern challenge they will pose to Liverpool this Saturday.
Player to Watch: Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema has been immense in this campaign and is one of the favourites for this season’s Ballon d’Or award alongside Sadio Mane and van Dijk. Calls have been made that he is the clear frontrunner which is not surprising, to say the least, looking at his splendid displays.
With 15 goals and two assists from 11 CL fixtures in this term, he is quite clearly the most dangerous man for Real Madrid coming into this final. The forward has shown time and time again how decisive he can be against top-class opposition, which would send warning signs to Liverpool.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Luis Diaz, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba, Ferland Mendy; Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric; Vinicius Jr, Karim Benzema, Rodrygo.
The bookies are favouring Liverpool to win the Champions League with odds from Betway pricing them at 1/1 while Real Madrid have an odds of 5/2. Will Salah and co get their revenge for the 2018 finals this time around?
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