Liverpool and Real Madrid will face off this Saturday in the NSC Olimpiyskiy in Kiev, Ukraine for what is sure to be one of the most anticipated Champions league finals in recent history.
Salah vs Ronaldo, Mane vs Bale, Firmino vs Benzema, this match will sure to have goals in it. This match sees Madrid attempting to win 3 champions leagues in a row, while Liverpool are hoping to clinch the Champions of Europe crown for the first time since 2005.
This will be a very interesting final. Real Madrid are winners of a record 12 champions leagues. They have incredible firepower with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Asensio and a very solid defence with Sergio Ramos and Marcelo leading the back line. They have an excellent array of players. However, it is an aging team. Key players such as Ronaldo, Ramos and Marcelo are all either 30 or older, while the rest of the players are nearing the end of their twenties.
There are two areas of the pitch Liverpool need to perform in to have any chance of winning on Saturday and that is up front and the defence. The front 3 have been excellent all season with Salah winning the PFA player of the season as well as being top scorer this season in the league, with a record 32 goals. Along with the help of Mane and Firmino, Liverpool have arguably the best front three in Europe at the moment, with over 100 goals between them.
The defence is another story however. Virgil Van Dijk was bought in the January transfer window to tighten it up at the back, which has worked to a point. They are still likely to concede in most matches however. Dejan Lovren is one of the main reasons why the defence is so poor. The Croatian is prone to making silly mistakes at the worst moments. It is hard to imagine him keeping Cristiano Ronaldo at bay for 90 minutes.
Real Madrid have been solid throughout the competition, but not spectacular. They haven’t reached the heights of other seasons in the competition so far. Maybe they are holding it for the final. They arguably shouldn’t have got to the final in the first place, as Bayern Munich were the better team over the two legs in the Semi final. But thats what champions do, they find a way to get through even if they are being outplayed. They know how to win, which could prove a huge challenge to overcome for their opponents in Kiev.
This is a truly intriguing match up. Liverpool have nothing to lose as they come in as underdogs. No one expected them to make the champions league final this year. They have scored 46 goals in Europe this year, the most goals in a single European campaign ever.
It will be a very difficult challenge for Liverpool to dethrone Real Madrid as champions of Europe, but anything can happen in 90 minutes of football. One thing that we can almost be sure of, is that there will be goals. This could be a very exciting match. Lets hope it lives up to the expectations.