Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Prediction: Real Madrid vs Liverpool

Verdict: Liverpool

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

The most anticipated match of the season is upon us as Real Madrid and Liverpool prepare to lock horns in the Champions League final this Saturday. A mouth-watering clash between the two powerful sides will decided on who will get a privilege to lift the coveted trophy and place a crown on a difficult season already in the rearview mirror.

Real Madrid

Los Blancos have endured a difficult time domestically and will be looking to salvage the entire 2017/18 season with a win in Kyiv. Real Madrid are the Champions League defending champions and 12-time winners who are competing for their third successive European title. Having already eliminated the likes of PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich on their road to the final, Zinedine Zidane’s men are brimming with confidence ahead of the showpiece event.

The Spanish superpower side had a bit of luck to go through to the final match, especially during the semi-final when Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich committed a blunder to push Real Madrid towards the final. It does not diminish the success managerial novice Zinedine Zidane has achieved in his short time as a tactician to extend his glorified playing career onto the touchline as well. Heading into the final all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo who will be looking to put in another strong performance to claim his stake on the Ballon d’Or. The Portuguese superstar scored 15 goals in 12 Champions League matches and will be the one to watch once again.

Team News

Zinedine Zidane will head into the final match without any injuries or suspensions.

The Frenchman has got plenty of options on the bench and his selection will depend on how he sets up the game. Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema will be hoping to land starting berths despite struggling during the regular part of the season.

Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s side have gone through a remarkable season both in the Premier League and the Champions League. Liverpool endured a challenging time having been left without key player Philippe Coutinho during the January transfer window, whereas quite a few first-team players were also hit with injuries that limited Klopp’s choices severely.

Fortunately, the Reds were graced with a fantastic spell produced by their Egyptian king Mohamed Salah who is Cristiano Ronaldo’s biggest challenger for the Ballon d’or prize. The total of 43 goals in 50 appearances speak volumes of his flying form, backed by a heavy-metal push from other players such as Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane. Liverpool’s front three are arguably the most lethal attack line in Europe and will be a handful for the Spanish side. Liverpool are an all-attacking unit wearing heart on their sleeves and are expected to go full force ahead without any fear of disappointment which could be their biggest advantage.

Team News

Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been ruled out for the season and will be unable to help their team in the final.

Joel Matip is struggling with a thigh injury whereas wantaway midfielder and Juventus-bound German Emre Can is having a back problem.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Real Madrid and Liverpool lock horns for the first time since 1981
  • Los Blancos are fighting for their 13th European crown, Liverpool are in search of their 6th
  • Spanish side are bidding for their third successive Champions League trophy
  • Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo are vying for a hold of the Ballon d’Or award
  • Liverpool are without four first-team players for the Kyiv final

Conclusion

Real Madrid and Liverpool go head to head in a highly anticipated Champions League final eager to crown their respective seasons and gain valuable push heading into the new campaign. Los Blancos have experience on their side whereas Liverpool are flying high on confidence and enthusiasm they hope will be enough to beat the reigning European champions.

Verdict: Liverpool

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

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