Game Preview by @PeterPhillips_
So after qualifying against Hoffenheim back in August for LFC it all comes down to this.
As Liverpool and Real Madrid do battle in Kiev on Sunday morning, seasons hang in the balance, stars collide, managers prove their worth and history will be made in a colossal clash of two of football’s most successful clubs.
While the Jurgen Klopp-led side will be aiming to clinch the European title for a sixth time after claiming the silverware back in 2005, holders Real Madrid are bidding to for a third successive and 13th overall title.
It promises to be an open, entertaining game with attacking stars littered throughout both teams, but we all know how often finals fail to deliver goals and excitement with so much on the line. This final though, I`m expecting goals and plenty of them.
Liverpool know how to attack at speed and I expect them to start quicker than Madrid on Saturday. The front 3 of Salah, Firmino and Mane are enough to frighten any defence but especially ones where they are not in tune with each other. Ramos can be got at and Varane for all his pace does not possess the concentration levels to hold his position and I expect Bobby Firmino to be dragging him all over the pitch to create space for he Dynamic duo to exploit. Mane will also be a key player up against Carvajal and I believe the Spanish full-back will not be able to cope with power and pace of Sadio on that left-hand side of the Liverpool attack.
Marcelo for all his pace and skill will never be a good defender and Mo Salah will be licking his lips in anticipation of this battle. With James Milner playing that Central/Right-midfield position he will be vital to the counter attacks because if he can break up play when Marcelo has bombed on we all know what happens next.
Henderson and Wijnaldum need to be disciplined in front of our defence to keep Kroos, Modric and Casemeiro at bay and there will be a need to drop in for Robertson or Trent when they have joined in the attacks.
Madrid will obviously be very dangerous and the Liverpool defence will need to bring their ” A ” game to Kyiv to stop Ronaldo and co. For me the player i fear the most is Gareth Bale due to his pace and strength and hopefully Zidane won`t start with him but I expect to see him at some stage and Trent is going to have lots of help from Lovren and VVD when the Madrid team attack down his side of the pitch.
All in all I expect a great game of football with some lightning quick attacks from both side but like they have done throughout this competition and once the nerves of the first 5-10 minutes have passed I expect Liverpool to hit Madrid with full throttle football that will be on a whole new level to anything that Madrid has seen in a long time.
As I predicted on The Kop Table podcast this week I am going for a 4-2 Liverpool victory with Jurgen`s being the team who wants its the most on the night.
Team Line up prediction
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas , Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos (captain), Marcelo, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Lucas Vasquez, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Liverpool: Loris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virjil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Andrew Robertson, James Milner, Jordan Henderson (captain), Georginio Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah.
Come on you Reds!! YNWA