23rd of May 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
The big showdown of European football will take place on Saturday evening in Kyiv, where Spanish giants Real Madrid take on English underdogs Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League final. The two teams have last met in the group stage of this competition in 2014 and back then Real Madrid won 3-0 in England and 1-0 in Spain. Those were the first two victories for Real against Liverpool after three consecutive defeats, including the 1-0 triumph for the Reds in the 1981 European Champions Clubs' Cup final. Overall, Real Madrid have won 15 of their 37 matches against English teams in Europe, while Liverpool have also played 37 times against Spanish teams but won on just 14 occasions.
Real Madrid are the most successful club in the history of this competitions, they have won it no less than twelve times in its various formats and have claimed the trophy in the last two seasons and three times over the past four campaigns. Things have not gone too well for them on the domestic front this season as they finished third in LaLiga behind rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, but their full focus in the second part of the season was on the Champions League. They had an incredible run in the knockout phase this season, facing huge opponents like PSG, Juventus and Bayern, and some close shaves, especially against Juventus in the quarter-finals. Dani Carvajal is injured for the trophy holders, while Isco and Nacho are doubts ahead of Saturday's final.
Liverpool have surprised everybody with their amazing run in this season's Champions League, they have not reached this stage of the competition since 2007 and have not won it since 2005. The Reds also finished third in their domestic competition, but their Champions League run was above expectations. The defining moment of their campaign was the quarter-finals clash against Premier League champions Manchester City, the Reds pulled off amazing performances in both legs and secured a massive 5-1 aggregate win. They did survive a big scare in the semi-finals against Roma as they nearly threw away their 5-2 lead from the first leg, but now they should be fully prepared for the final battle as their domestic season ended on May 13. Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Emre Can are injured and won't be able to play on Saturday.
Real Madrid: Navas - Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo - Kroos, Modric, Casemiro - Vazquez, Ronaldo, Benzema
Liverpool: Karius - Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson - Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum - Salah, Firmino, Mane
My prediction: Liverpool to win 3-2.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Real Madrid win - 2.20
Draw - 3.75
Liverpool win - 3.10
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The Liverpool loss were notified really from the very moment Mo Salah left the field injured really, they've had never look much of a threat after that.
But what Karius did in a couple of occasions left them no chance really, could of they being able to won that if their keeper wasn't so sloppy? I guess we would never get to know the answer of that question but one thing is for sure, it's too late for you to understand your keeper just isn't good enough at the final, it's a shame loosing that way.
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