Champions League Final: Reds Have Got What it Takes to Beat Real Madrid4 min read
The Champions League Final is, arguably, the biggest club game in the world and Saturday’s game between holders Real Madrid and Liverpool promises to be a wonderful occasion and fitting conclusion to the European season.
It goes without saying that Real Madrid have a great European pedigree and Kiev will be their 16th European Cup/Champions League final – more than any other club and Zinedine Zidane is the first manager to reach three consecutive Champions League finals since Marcello Lippi between 1996 and 1998.
Indeed, under Zidane Real Madrid have never been knocked out in the Champions League, progressing in all nine of their two-legged Champions League ties as well as winning the two finals they have appeared in.
This shows the magnitude of the task facing Liverpool on Saturday.
All season I have thought Los Blancos were the team to beat in the Champions League and any side who have knocked out PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich deserve to take their place in the final.
They have not faced a side, however, with the pace, energy, skill and passion of this Jürgen Klopp-inspired Liverpool side and I expect to see Jordan Henderson pick up a sixth European Cup/Champions League Trophy for the Reds in Kiev.
Liverpool of course have their own rich heritage as far as the competition is concerned having reached their eighth European Cup/Champions League final (first since 2007), which is at least three more than any other English side.
The Reds became only the third team to score 40 goals within a single season in the Champions League after their two goals in Rome in the semi-final second leg, after Barcelona (45 in 1999-00) and Real Madrid (41 in 2013-14).
Mo Salah (10), Roberto Firmino (10) and Sadio Mané (9) have scored 29 goals between them in the Champions League this season and the Reds front three can again be the difference between the sides in Ukraine. The Whites are a great team but they are not blessed with great pace in their back four and I expect Liverpool to exploit that weakness in what promises to be a cracker.
If there is an early goal, I honestly believe it could be any score.
My head says Real Madrid but my heart says Liverpool.
On this occasion, the heart rules the head – 2-1 to the Reds.
Liverpool to win
Liverpool to win 2-1
My #PriceItUp Builder:
Liverpool to win
Both Teams To Score
Sadio Mane to score
Under 4.5 cards