Champions League final preview: Real Madrid v Liverpool
posted on 26-05-2018 by Gurusoccer
Team news, expert views, form guide and key stats – it's your UEFA Champions League final preview.
Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos, Modrić, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema
Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mané, Firmino, Salah
Out: Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee ligaments), Gomez (ankle), Matip (thigh)
Doubtful: Emre Can (back)
Joe Walker, Real Madrid:
Well, once again Madrid are here. The UEFA Champions League final seems to be a date they have circled in the diary every year and once more they may believe it is their destiny to lift the trophy for an unprecedented 13th time. Zinédine Zidane has a selection dilemma up top – Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema? – but whoever isn't given the nod isn't a bad option to bring on, either.
Matthew Howarth, Liverpool:
Jürgen Klopp's troops have no reason to fear Real Madrid. The Merengues may have big-game experience on their side, but Liverpool's irrepressible front three are capable of inflicting serious damage on the holders. If the Reds can show the defensive steel that served them so well over two legs against Manchester City in the quarters, they might just crown this remarkable campaign with a sixth European Cup.
What the coaches say
Zinédine Zidane, Real Madrid
This will probably be the hardest final we've ever had to play. We will have to be at our very best – we know that – and on all levels, not just physical. They're an English team, so they will never give up, but they don't just rely on their physical attributes. Liverpool are also good technically, with a lot of speed and great individual players.
Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool
We had an agreement when we started working together that I'm responsible for any defeats, the boys are responsible for when we win. So they have nothing to lose. Experience is very important and I'm pretty sure a second before the game Madrid will be more confident than us. But it doesn't matter because the game doesn't stop there, it only starts. They've not played us and we are Liverpool – not only a good football team, but we have in our DNA to go for big things.
Most recent game:
19/05: Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid (Martínez 70, Castillejo 85; Bale 11, Ronaldo 32)
13/05: Liverpool 4-0 Brighton (Salah 26, Lovren 40, Solanke 53, Robertson 85)
Last ten games (most recent first)
Real Madrid: DWLDDWWDWL
Did you know?
► Ronaldo could become the first player to win this competition five times in the UEFA Champions League era.
► Klopp has lost his last five major finals as a manager.
► Sergio Ramos helped Spain win UEFA EURO 2012 at this same stadium.