Dave Davis spoke to ten Official Liverpool Supporters’ Clubs from around the world to gauge the feeling among the fanbase ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.
Head to any corner of the world and you know you’ll stumble across a Red somewhere. With only a few days until the final, emotions fluctuate from extreme excitement to nerves and that won’t change when kick-off arrives.
We spoke to Official Liverpool Supporters’ Clubs from around the globe to see how they’re feeling and get their take on how they think Saturday will go.
OLSC Glasgow (@GlasgowReds)
“Saturday is anyone’s game, with both teams electric in attack but vulnerable at times in defence, despite significant improvement Virgil van Dijk has made and the progression of Loris Karius.
Naturally, both teams have a star, with Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo capable of tearing a team apart on their own at any time. Real Madrid left-back Marcelo will no doubt leave gaps for us to exploit, but also offers a significant danger going forward.
So where Salah may benefit, it will take a disciplined performance from (probably) James Milner doubling up at right back at times with Trent Alexander Arnold, who we are confident will shine on the big stage with fellow left-back Andy Robertson.
Real Madrid are no doubt stronger in the middle of the park, with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric two great midfielders who can dictate a game. Jordan Henderson’s energy will come in handy against them, and whoever gets the nod alongside, most likely Gini Wijnaldum, will have a tough shift, but not one they can’t manage.
The one hope is that we go into this playing our own game, don’t get carried away with the occasion and let Bobby, Sadio and Mo do their stuff.”
Simon Gillis, President of OLSC Edinburgh (@auldreekiereds)
“We are going into the final as underdogs, which is a ‘tag’ we seem to embrace. Sticking with the team that got us to the final, Klopp will not shy away from his ‘Rock’n Roll” gegenpress style of football. Liverpool’s attack is its best form of defence and when we’re on the front foot, pressing hard, not many teams can live with us.
Will Zidane try to curtail Marcelo’s attacking tendencies in order to try and deal with Salah? As, by playing so far up the field, he leaves the sort of gaps Salah loves to exploit.
The centre halves will need to help out TAA, as Ronaldo (and Marcelo) will try to play on his inexperience. VVD may swap with Lovren to mark Ronaldo, with Lovren dealing with Benzema. Could we also see a well-rested Milner being given the task of ‘sitting on’ Ronaldo.
If we go for the jugular I can see us coming out on top, but, we never do things the easy way so hold on tight for a rollercoaster.”
Mayur, OLSC Kolhapur (@LFCKolhapur)
“When Liverpool take on Real Madrid this weekend, one thing for sure is it will not be a dull affair. Both the managers are attack minded and they don’t like to go in to a defensive mode just to stop rival from playing natural game. Real Madrid will play open and so will Liverpool.
Liverpool will have patches of 20 minutes in each half where we will be relentless in pressing and won’t give a chance to Madrid to come back on us. I believe Liverpool will score in those situations.
Once we get those goals, we will slow down a bit and try to hit on the counter. Only thing Liverpool needs to make sure is to finish each game in normal time. With the amount of talented players at disposal for Zidane and a lack of bench strength for us, we will struggle if the game goes in extra time.
Hope we smash goals in as early as possible and keep hitting them on counter.”
OLSC Pittsburgh (@LFCPittsburgh)
“I can see Marcelo trying to take advantage of TAA, but then I see Mo filing in that space and terrorising their back line.
It seems as though Real like to play a high line and I hope that we can take advantage of it.
I just hope that Real come to play and not sit back. If they attack us, I’m cautiously optimistic that number 6 will be coming home.”
Nabs Al Busaidi, Chairman of OLSC Oman (@OmanReds)
“I am trying to avoid jinxing the match by making predictions, however, I am less afraid of Real Madrid than I am of the referee and the dirty tricks that I expect the Madrid players to start using.
In a straight fight, and over 2 legs, I’d back LFC every time against this aging, dysfunctional, collection of Real Madrid individuals.”
OLSC Pune (@Liverpoolpune)
“We think the game will be super fast. Both team will be attacking. The first goal will be crucial for the both the teams and it will set the tone for the rest of the game. Liverpool will need to be careful and tactic about the Madrid’s wingbacks. Our front 3 men will be scoring goals and attacking, they won’t be letting Madrid’s defence a calm game.”
OLSC Chicago (@ChicagoLFC)
“From a supporter’s club perspective, outside of the obvious hoping we’ll win, hopefully everyone traveling over makes it there and back safe and sound. There have been a lot of issues from overall ticketing to accommodation, so hopefully, all the Reds that are going over all manage OK on that front.
Obviously, I hope we win 10-0, obviously I’d also take the dodgiest of wins in a penalty shootout and I’d remember it for the rest of my life. So however it happens,I’lll be happy! I think Madrid want to make it seem like they’re underestimating us, but I don’t think they are – they’d be stupid to.
On our end, I think we’re firmly underdogs and that suits us, but obviously Madrid are favourites for a reason. It can go one of two ways. Either we’re found out and Madrid walk the walk after talking the talk all week or we absolutely hit them from the moment the match kicks off and they never recover. Hopefully, it’s the latter!
Either way, I’m sure my nerves and my heart won’t be ready for whatever Saturday night has in store!’
OLSC San Antonio (@LFCSanAntonio)
“We’ve already won regardless of the result on Saturday. Anfield is a fortress again, the fans, players and coaches are all on the same page, players want to come to play for Klopp and Liverpool.
In saying that of course, we believe that Liverpool will win the Champions League, we’ve had an amazing journey to this final. It’ll be a great game full of attacking football from Liverpool and to beat Real Madrid in the final will be a great way to end the season.”
OLSC Charlotte (@LFCCLT)
“We’ve been doing nothing but talking about the final all week and we all sincerely want Liverpool to smash Real and leave them a quivering lifeless mass but that’s just not our style, is it?
It’s probably going to come down to some injury time heroics from some unlikely source, like some tap in from Ings off a deflection from a Salah shot off a brilliant Milner cross – all of which will have been made necessary because of some BS penalty that was given at the 85th minute to an Ascenció dive which Cristiano Ronaldo buried.
Either that or those diving rats and complicit refs will tear our hearts in a million little pieces.”
OLSC Baltimore (@LFCBaltimore)
“We love an underdog tag, us. We wear it with pride. And it could be the difference in this clash. If not for the players, then for the 16,000 dedicated supporters that have surmounted corruption, gouging, grift and general official shithousery to get to Kyiv to watch their beloved Reds play.
It is their voice in unison that can be the energy when legs start to tire or nerves start to jangle. The fact that 2,000 Real fans wouldn’t make the trip is an indication of who wants this more.
Of course, wanting doesn’t guarantee success. But it’s a helluva solid base to build from. And this is a team that has a lot more in its arsenal than desire.”