Real Madrid vs Liverpool: Preview, Line-ups, Stats, Team News, Prediction and more

Nations across the globe are gearing up for next month’s World Cup event, however, this season’s biggest encounter is yet to take place as Real Madrid and Liverpool – the two finalists of the prestigious Champions League competition lock horns at NSC Olimpiyskiy, Kiev for the ultimate glory.

Real Madrid have won this competition a record 12 times and are on a mission to conquer it for the third time in a row, which indeed reflects their sheer dominance in Europe.

Liverpool have their own reputation in this esteemed event, having won it five times. However, they have reached the final for the first time in 11 years and the recent resurgence under Jurgen Klopp deserves applause.

The reigning Champions are confident of grabbing their 4th Champions League in five years but the Merseysiders should not be written off completely, as the ‘underdogs’ tag suits them better than any other outfit.

The historic ‘Istanbul night’ in 2005 saw them script a sensational comeback victory against AC Milan despite being down by 3-0 in the first half and that miraculous title triumph must inspire the Reds of the current era to make it to Liverpool’s folklore for years to come.

Los Blancos, meanwhile, have knocked out the favourites one after another in previous rounds. Paris St.-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich were all shown the door by Zinedine Zidane’s fearsome force.

Liverpool have lost three cup finals since winning their last title in form of a League Cup back in 2012 and Klopp’s dreadful final record has put them in further backfoot ahead of the decisive clash. Jurgen’s juggernaut, nevertheless, are capable of defeating Europe’s deadliest side on their day.

Team News

Real Madrid

Los Blancos are sensationally free of any sort of injury and Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a minor concern, has been labelled as ‘120% fit’ by gaffer Zinedine Zidane. The iconic Frenchman, therefore, will have a fully fit squad to select his matchday line-up from.

Liverpool

The Reds, on the other hand, have a few significant long-term injury absentees as Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are set to miss out months of football due to their respective thigh, ankle and knee strains.

However, wantaway midfielder Emre Can is finally back in training after being down for months with a back injury. James Milner was rested against Brighton & Hove Albion with a minor knock but is now fit and available.

Predicted Line-ups

Real Madrid – Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos; Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema.

Liverpool – Loris Karius; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner; Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino.

Stats Trivia

1. Spain’s Real Madrid have won the title on 12 occasions — in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016 and 2017 — and have triumphed in their last six finals.

2. Madrid are the first side to reach three straight Champions League finals since Juventus, who achieved the feat between 1996 and 1998.

3. England’s Liverpool have won the title five times — in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005.

4. No player from Liverpool’s current squad has played in a Champions League final before.

Source: Star

Cristiano Ronaldo

History

1. The two teams have met five times in the European Cup with Liverpool winning three games and Madrid two. Liverpool have scored six goals while Madrid have scored four.

2. The match is a repeat of the 1981 title clash where Liverpool prevailed 1-0 in Paris, thanks to defender Alan Kennedy’s 82nd-minute goal. That result was Madrid’s last defeat in the final of the competition.

3. A win for Real will make them the first team to claim three straight European Cup titles twice. Ajax (1971–73) and Bayern Munich (1974–76) are the only others to win three titles in a row.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah

Prediction

Final is usually anybody’s game, however, Real Madrid’s defeat will still be considered as a major upset due to their sheer dominance in this very competition. But they should defend the title without much trouble unless Liverpool exhibit their best display in recent times.

Final Score: Real Madrid 2-1 Liverpool

Written by Pratyay Maitra

A sports enthusiast and football fanatic.

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