Champions League Final: Real Madrid vs Liverpool – preview and team news

Liverpool will face Real Madrid in the 2018 Uefa Champions League final on May 26.

Real Madrid aim to retain their Champions League crown when they meet Liverpool in the final on Saturday.

It’s a showpiece that pits the monolithic know-how of the Spanish side against the indefatigable pizzazz of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds. Throw in a pair of error-prone defences and we could be in for a cracker in Kiev.

Both sides missed out on domestic silverware this season, as they watched respective rivals Barcelona and Manchester City romp to the La Liga and Premier League titles.

But that’ll all be forgotten for the one that lifts the famous trophy inside the NSC Olimpiyskiy. Real barged their way into another final thanks to a hard-fought victory over Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

Team News

Real Madrid

  • Zinedine Zidane has a fully fit and available squad for the Champions League final.
  • Real Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw with Villarreal on the final day of the La Liga season, despite putting out a strong starting XI.
  • Luca Zidane and Gareth Bale both started the stalemate, but could both drop out at the expense of Keylor Navas and Karim Benzema.
  • All in all, Zidane is not expected to spring a surprise XI as Los Blancos seek a third successive Champions League triumph.

Liverpool

  • Jurgen Klopp is unable to call upon injured trio Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez for the Champions League final meeting with Real Madrid.
  • Emre Can and James Milner are both back in training following recent knocks and are available for selection, with the latter expected to start.
  • Adam Lallana is another option for Klopp in midfield, though his 16-minute outing against Brighton on the final day of the season was his first involvement for the Reds since a brief cameo against Crystal Palace at the end of March.
  • Like Zidane and Real Madrid, Klopp’s immediate XI is easy to predict and he should stick with his tried and tested personnel in Ukraine.

Predicted line-ups

Liverpool (4-3-3): Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, Casemiro; Vasquez, Ronaldo, Benzema

 

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