Michael Owen believes only two spots remain in Liverpool’s Champions League final XI. The other nine are ‘in stone’.
Liverpool are now within three weeks of their UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid. No matter what happens, that’s the biggest game of their season and the one they’ll want to get right.
The pressure is on Jurgen Klopp, then, to get his starting XI right. That’s no easy task as the Reds boast incredible squad depth right now.
Michael Owen, though, feels that nine out of Liverpool’s 11 is already ‘in stone’. Only two spots are up for grabs as a ‘toss of a coin’.
“Jurgen Klopp is playing possibly the best team that he could be [against Tottenham],” Owen told Premier League Productions. “I think that if the Champions League final was tomorrow, this could be his team.
“You could argue [Naby] Keita and [Jordan] Henderson, toss of a coin. [Ibrahima] Konate and [Joel] Matip, toss of a coin. But I think the front three are the front three and the rest are in stone.”
Liverpool’s Champions League final starting XI
We’ll actually go further here and say that the XI Liverpool put out against Tottenham Hotspur yesterday is the XI for the Champions League final. We just don’t think either Keita or Matip will come in.
Henderson, for one, is a must. He’s got the experience and energy to compete with Real’s amazing midfield trio, while Liverpool are simply a more consistent team with him in it.
Matip and Konate is a debatable one. Matip is more consistent, certainly, but we just think Konate’s pace will be a valuable asset up against Vinicius Jr. Carlo Ancelotti will try to exploit the Brazilian’s pace in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold – Konate can mitigate that threat.
Klopp could see it differently and go with Matip’s experience, of course. The pace is likely to make a big difference, though.