CL Final: History-chaser Real Madrid must be wary of pitfalls of winning three in a row
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In search of their 13th European title, Real will look to topple over Jurgen Klopp’s in-form Reds, in what promises be a fascinating tactical duel at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev.
The Reds are into the final for the first time since 2007 and an attacking formidable force with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah leading from the front.
But the question remains as to whether the Reds defence has what it takes to stop the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo — looking to become the first player to lift the trophy 5 times with the same club.
Liverpool:Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino
Injury concerns: Adam Lallana and Emre Can return form injury, while Joel Matip, Nathaniel Clyne and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain out injured.
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo
Injury concerns: No injury concerns for Madrid, with the likes of Bale, Vazquez and Asensio expected to start on the bench and make an impact.
Head to head:
Played 5 – Liverpool 3 wins, Madrid 2 wins
27/5/81 - Liverpool 1-0 Madrid in European Cup
25/2/09 - Liverpool 1-0 Madrid in UCL
10/3/09 - Liverpool 4-0 Madrid in UCL
22/10/14 - Madrid 3-0 Liverpool in UCL
04/11/14 - Madrid 1-0 Liverpool in UCL
WHY LIVERPOOL WILL WIN
Attacking fire power.
The Reds will aim to catch Madrid on the counter attack, as they’ve done with most teams this season. Madrid’s attacking fullbacks will be looking to get forward, leaving plenty of space in behind for the Reds to exploit.
Salah’s form could prove the game changer again while Klopp’s tactical prowess has been praised this season, but the German will have to be on the ball against Zidane’s regimented Madrid side.
WHY MADRID WILL WIN
Ruthless finishing and tactical awareness.
Although their defence has shown signs of vulnerability during the campaign, Real’s ability to always get that extra goal has served them well.
Against Klopp’s Liverpool, however, that may be a tough ask.
An early goal would allow Real to rely upon their resolute defending to halt the Reds attack.
In doing so, Liverpool would pour players forward leaving gaps in their defence for the likes of Isco, Modric and Kroos to find their targetman Ronaldo.