Champions League Final: Prediction, confirmed team news as Liverpool sweat over Thiago’s fitness
As Liverpool and Real Madrid prepare to face off in the season’s finale match, the stage has been set and the day has finally arrived.
Tonight at the Stade de France, two sides who are no strangers to European glory will face off with the chance to be named European Kings once more.
Liverpool has won the Champions League seven times, whereas Real Madrid has won it 14 times.
The two teams have a long history together, dating back to the same level of the competition in 2018.
Liverpool has already won the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup this season, and Klopp will be aiming for a trifecta by winning the Champions League after losing the Premier League to Manchester City on the final day of the season.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid is the Spanish league champion, and Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping to add European silverware to an otherwise successful season.
Liverpool Team News
Ahead of the clash, there is renewed hope for Liverpool over the availability of Thiago. Last Sunday, the midfielder went straight down the tunnel before the end of the first half against Wolves, and fans feared his Achilles injury would keep him out of the Champions League final.
While Thiago remains a significant question, fans can take heart knowing that Fabinho returned to full training on Wednesday and is anticipated to have recovered from a hamstring problem.
After starting on the bench against Wolves last week, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah are set to return to the starting XI after picking up bruises in the FA Cup final against Chelsea.
It’s now up to Klopp to choose between Ibrahima Konate, who was at fault for Wolves’ opening last weekend, and Joel Matip as Van Dijk’s defensive partner. Sadio Mane of Senegal is also eligible, and will most likely line up alongside Salah and Luis Diaz in the attacking third.
Real Madrid Team News
Carlo Ancelotti will be looking to select from a completely fit group for Saturday’s match. David Alaba is expected to return to the starting lineup after missing the last game of the season against Real Betis, relegating Nacho Fernandez.
Los Blancos’ engine in midfield will most likely be Casemiro, Toni Kroos, or Luka Modric, with Eduardo Camavinga on the bench in case one of them gets injured.
Rodrygo and Vinicus Junior will be used to run in behind Liverpool’s high line. Merenguez’s assault will undoubtedly be led by Karim Benzema, the top scorer in the Champions League this season.
Here is the predicted lineup for the Champions League final between Liverpool vs Real Madrid:
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mane, Diaz
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr