All roads lead to Paris as Liverpool and Real Madrid clash for the 2021/22 Champions League Final on Saturday night. Liverpool will be looking for their seventh European title while the Spanish giants will be gunning for their 14th crown.
LIVERPOOL STATS, FORM, SQUAD.
Liverpool has had an almost perfect season to date. With the EFL and FA cup in the bag, plans for a quadruple were in place but despite a 3-1 win over wolves, a miraculous comeback by Man City on the final day of the Premier League cut such dreams short. Klopp’s men will now focus on the champions league final and hope to win it for the seventh time. After an excellent group stage, The Reds overcame Inter Milan, Benfica and Villarreal en route to the Final. Liverpool have scored at least twice in each of their Champions League games this season barring a 1-0 loss to Inter Milan – the Reds’ last defeat in all competitions. Klopp’s men are on an 18-game unbeaten run since that defeat, including 10 wins from their previous 11. Liverpool will look to avenge the quarter-final exit last season and the 2018 final loss both in the hands of Real Madrid. Considering the number of games The Reds have played this season, they have surprisingly stayed injury-free. Fabinho and Thiago are the only doubts despite returning to training. Mo Salah and Van Dijk are fit and expected to return to the starting lineup. Luis Diaz is tipped to join Salah and Mane in attack. Predicted lineup: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mane, Diaz
REAL MADRID STATS, FORM, SQUAD.
Magical comebacks against PSG, Chelsea, and Manchester City have made Real Madrid’s 2021/22 champions league run a fairytale so far. Seemingly down and out after 90 minutes against Man City, who moved into a 5-3 aggregate lead in the semi-finals thanks to Riyad Mahrez’s smart finish, Rodrygo netted twice in the space of two minutes to force extra time before star man Karim Benzema converted his spot-kick to send the Los Blancos into another Champions League final. Having wrapped up the La Liga title with weeks to spare, Real Madrid understandably took their foot off the gas and managed to win one of their final four La Liga fixtures, ending their 2021-22 La Liga season with a goalless draw with Real Betis at the Bernabeu. Real Madrid have failed to keep a single clean sheet in this season’s Champions League knockout stages but have scored 14 goals in their last five Champions League matches. Real Madrid emerged victorious when the two sides clashed in the 2018 Champions League final, with Gareth Bale scoring twice in a 3-1 victory. Karim Benzema has scored 15 goals in 11 Champions League games, and a hattrick will see him smash Ronaldo’s record of 17 goals in a single Champions League campaign. Defender David Alaba is the only doubt for Ancelotti’s side as he looks to shake off an adductor issue but should Incase he doesn’t make the cut, the reliable Nacho will take his place. Predicted lineup: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.
ACCUMULATOR TIP: BTTS & OVER 2.5
ANYTIME GOALSCORER: KARIM BENZEMA