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Klopp picks 'fantastic' youth over experience: Early predicted Liverpool XI for the Champions League final

Liverpool will play Real Madrid in UEFA Champions League final on May 28th. Here’s how they could line up in the season’s showpiece event.

So that’s a third UEFA Champions League final in five years for Liverpool. The Reds knocked out Villarreal in the semi-finals this week, moving on to try and recapture the trophy they won in 2019.

Real Madrid are up next for Liverpool after they somehow overcame Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu.

How could they line up in that fixture, then? Here’s the starting XI we feel Jurgen Klopp goes with as things stand.

Liverpool’s possible starting XI in the UEFA Champions League final

Defence

Four out of the five here are virtually guaranteed – only fitness could possibly stand in their way. Alisson will play in goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back, Andy Robertson at left-back and Virgil van Dijk as one of the centre-backs.

The big question, though, is who starts alongside the Dutchman. We think Klopp might stick with Ibrahima Konate at the back for Liverpool, over Joel Matip.

The ‘fantastic’ Konate, as Van Dijk recently put it, is playing wonderfully well in big games. His display in the FA Cup semi-final gives the edge here, as does his showing vs Villarreal.

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Liverpool risk getting caught out with their high-line against elite opposition but Konate can mitigate the problem. We think Klopp goes with him as things stand.

Midfield

Liverpool surely go for experience and consistency here. Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson are the obvious choices in that regard.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Fabinho is a certainty, while Thiago’s incredible form locks him into the side. The only question is Henderson or Naby Keita. The Guinean could play his way into the team here, certainly. The captain, though, feels like the safe option for a game this big.

Attack

The big one. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané will definitely start this one but their partner will bring about much debate. Should Klopp go with the tried-and-trusted Roberto Firmino for Liverpool’s legendary front-three? Or maybe Diogo Jota, given his incredible goal-scoring form?

The consensus coming out of the Villarreal game is that Luis Diaz would be the choice. We actually agree with that right now, given Mané is thriving centrally and the Colombian brings incredible energy to the left flank. Having Firmino and Jota on the bench doesn’t exactly hurt, either.

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