It’s the big day, Paris is the city of love but there will be no love when Liverpool and Real Madrid go head to head in tonight’s UEFA Champions League final at Stade de France just few kilometers north of Paris.
Real Madrid are on the verge of winning the double, Liverpool missed out on their quadruple when they lost the EPL to Manchester City but can still win a treble tonight.
It’s a matter of who wants it the most, which team is hungrier and ready to feast. Karim Benzema will be leading the line for the Madridista, Salah is seeking revenge for the 2018 final when he left the pitch injured and saw his side lose 3-1.
Liverpool and Real Madrid have met twice in the UCL final with both teams having won 1 each. Madrid lost in the 1981 UCL final in Paris to Liverpool and won in the same fixture in 2018.
The stakes are higher with both teams hungry for blood. Liverpool haven’t beaten Madrid in their last 5 meetings but this Liverpool side looks different, they’re better than ever, worse, they’re angry and hungry.
Road To Final
Liverpool won all their group stage games this season leaving everyone aback. In the knockout phase, they annihilated Inter Milan, feasted on Benfica and showed no remorse to Villarreal who thought they could do a comeback on the Kopites.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have already won two domestic cups beating Chelsea in finals of English league cup and the FA Cup. They’re still angry that they lost the Premier League by 1 point to Manchester City and will definitely be looking to transfer aggression to Real Madrid, coupled with the 2018 final loss.
Real Madrid did the miraculous in the Knockout stages after winning 5 of their 6 group stage games. The miracle started in this same UCL final country, they came back from 2 goals to qualify 3-2 on aggregate. Benzema was on his A day, Modric was feasting. Oh, the feast also continued at the Stamford Bridge beating defending Champions, Chelsea at home and sealing the qualification with last minutes’ goal from Rodrigo and Benzema after Chelsea almost did a comeback.
Manchester City couldn’t hold them either, Benzema, Rodrygo and Vinicious showing the Cityzens extra class. They were unmatched and for the third time running they had to do a comeback each at a later time than the previous. Truly, this Madrid side are resilient.
Liverpool have travelled with their full squad to Paris but there may be injury worries for their midfield maestro, Thiago, and Fabinho isn’t still 100% fit. Salah already played few minutes in the last 2 games after the injury at Wembley against Chelsea. Dutch defender, Virgil would feature tonight having recovered from his injury.
Real Madrid do not have any major injury problem with Bale and Hazard also back for the finals.
Stade de France, a Stadium built ahead of the 1998 World Cup will host this two great teams. Both teams having a combined 19 champions league with the Spain giants having 13 of these. Liverpool could also level up on second with AC Milan on 7 Champions League if they win tonight.
Players to Watch
Mo won the highest goal scorer (23 goals) and Playmaker of the season (13 assist) in the Premier League this season. The Egyptian prince has an extra motivation because he wants revenge to what Sergio Ramos did to him in the UCL final of 2018. After Madrid qualified for the UCL, he said posted on Instagram “we have a score to settle.”
The French Striker is being tipped for this year Balon d’Or having won the Pichichi award for the highest goal scorer in Laliga this season (27 goals) and just falling short of Dembele in the assist ranking. He has been phenomenon in the Knockout stages this season, scoring double digits already, and instrumental to all their incredible comeback
Trent Alexander Arnold vs Vinicious Jr
The two young lad will be fighting for their badge and the title. This will be Vinicious first Champions League final and Arnold is on his third losing one to Madrid and winning the other against Tottenham.
Vinicious Jr has added goals and assist to his trickery, dribbles and speed. Arnold will be going against that trickery tonight. The England Right Back is also a menace going forward with the bursting run and exciting crosses. His defensive play may not be excellent but he is well shielded by his midfielders and CBs when he makes those forward runs.
Liverpool: Allison, Trent, Konate, Virgil, Robertson, Thiago, Fabinho, Henderson, Salah, Mane, Diaz
Real Madird: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Valverde, Vinicious Jr, Benzema.
Carlo Ancelloti will be aiming to win his fourth UCL title, a feat no one has achieved when he faces Jurgen Klopp’s side. With Klopp trying not to lose another UCL final after losing in 2013 when he was managing BVB and in 2018 when he lost in this same fixture, he will go all out for victory tonight.
Liverpool have are averaging 2.97 goals per game this season and this looks like an interesting encounter with a lot of goals and Madrid will be looking to soak up the pressure and hit them on the counter.
Liverpool are coming into this game with the better team on paper, in a much better form. However, Real Madrid have not lost a UCL final since it was renamed the UEFA Champions League winning all 7 of them.
It promises to be an interesting match with all bands of emotion. Keep your fingers crossed and may the best team win.