Match Preview: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Niall Corcoran previews Liverpool’s biggest game for a decade as they gear up to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday.

It’s nearly upon us. The Reds are preparing to face Spanish giants Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final in Kiev and with neither team expected to dominate the final, this is shaping up to be an incredible match between the two sides.

Liverpool’s journey has been a fascinating rollercoaster for fans, with some of the best moments in recent years for the club occurring in the build-up to this match. Liverpool’s incredible front three will be expected to do nothing less than give the whole Real Madrid defence one of the toughest games they will have experienced in recent years.

With Salah’s record-breaking season, Firmino’s impressive pressing and positioning in the final third and Mane’s speed,  Liverpool will go into this match feeling unstoppable. As we’ve seen throughout the competition, fans will provide an electric atmosphere around Kiev on the day of the final, in the hope of giving Liverpool players any motivation they need.

Real Madrid should be the most trying test this Liverpool side has come across, making it even more nerve-wracking for the Reds. With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric at Zidene’s disposal to name just a few. This team will show what Liverpool are truly made of, and could bring out the best in the side, or show the weaknesses of it.

Real Madrid have found themselves in this final after a heart-pounding match with Juventus in the quarter-finals in which Ronaldo denied them the chance to take it to extra time. They then faced Bayern, which they won 4-3 on aggregate in the semi-finals.

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That shows Real Madrid have had no easy ride to Kiev, also having to face PSG previously in the round of 16 – a team that has fought like the Reds to get their place in the final.

Liverpool have also had to face games where many had written them off. Liverpool’s first knockout game took them to Porto where they convincingly beat the side 5-0, a game in which the Liga Nos outfit saw no way back. The Portuguese side then traveled to Anfield and had a stalemate.

Liverpool then found themselves facing their toughest task yet: English side Manchester City. The league Champions were in phenomenal form, however, Liverpool’s previous victory over the side gave them a big confidence boost.

After a brilliant performance from the Reds, they won both home and away, which sent them to the semi finals where they faced Roma. A truly unbelievable home performance from the Reds in which they won 5-2, allowing them to lose at the Stadio Olimpico 4-2 and still progress to Kiev.

This is the inevitable point where I talk about what Jürgen Klopp has done for the Reds. Coming in to manage a side which couldn’t get past the round of 32 in the Europa League in the season prior to him joining, the German has done a wonderful job.

He has now guided Liverpool back into the Champions League for the second season in a row showing his consistency, something Liverpool have lacked.

He has now marched the club to Kiev, where they are looking to become the European titans they once were.

He has now ensured he is 90 minutes away from becoming an Anfield legend.

Liverpool’s predicted Line-up: Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mané, Firmino, Salah.

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