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Klopp backs experience and trusts 'crazy' player: Predicted Liverpool XI for the Champions League final

Here’s our predicted Liverpool team for the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid. Jurgen Klopp is expected to back Luis Diaz.

The Champions League final is nearly here as Liverpool prepare for their third in five years. It’s a chance for nearly every player to win their second such medal, too, and there’s a possibility for revenge against Real Madrid for 2018.

It’s a massive one, in other words.

Jurgen Klopp has the unenviable task of picking the XI for this but we thought we’d have a go, too. The boss can’t afford to get this one wrong.

Liverpool team to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final

Defence

Alisson starts in goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back, Andy Robertson at left-back and Virgil van Dijk at centre-back. That’s all a given and we’re not sure anyone could argue with any of it as they’re the best in the world in their respective positions, as far as we’re concerned.

As for who partners Van Dijk, there’s a debate. Ibrahima Konaté has been brilliant in the Champions League final this season and his pace could be vital against Vinicius Jr.

But we can’t look past Joel Matip. He was magnificent at the weekend, after all, and his experience should get him the nod. Honestly, though, either is a wonderful choice.

Midfield

Fabinho is back in training and that guarantees him a start. Liverpool have saved him for this one after his hamstring injury, after all.

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Jordan Henderson will lead the Reds out as captain, too – his third European Cup final as captain (a club record). And now the tricky bit.

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

In ordinary circumstances, Thiago is a certainty. We just don’t know if he’s fit and no one has made it clear yet. The suggestion is that he ‘might be fit’. We’ll cross our fingers but honestly, it sounds like Naby Keita might have to step in here.

Attack

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and who? The Athletic reports that it’ll be Luis Diaz and that’s a choice that would cap off a remarkable rise for the Colombian.

Klopp said in April that it’s ‘crazy’ how quickly Diaz has adapted to life at Liverpool and starting the final would be the greatest acknowledgement of that. We agree, too, that he likely gets the nod here and he might just have what it takes to steal the show in Paris.

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