Attack best form of defence for Liverpool
Champions League Final, Saturday, 8pm
Liverpool – six times champions of Europe. Real Madrid – winners on no fewer than thirteen occasions. UEFA royalty clash in Paris’ Stade de France on Saturday evening, for the chance to add yet another to those impressive tallies. Who do you fancy?
Liverpool’s path to the final has been relatively serene, but having said that they did have this season’s Group of Death to negotiate early doors. Atletico, Porto and AC Milan were dealt with brutally – six matches, six wins. They’ve breezed, in relative terms, through the knockout phases too.
Real had very few problems themselves in qualifying from Group D, winning 5 of their 6, and after disposing of PSG in the round of 16 began I’m sure to think this might just be their year – again.
A titanic match-up with Manchester City in their semi-final went to the wire and beyond, with 21-yr-old Brazilian sensation Rodrygo lifting them over the line in the most dramatic circumstances imaginable.
Rodrygo Silva de Goes, to give him his full title, was actually signed by Real IN the city of Liverpool – and the Anfield giants had been interested in him too. He ripped City’s hearts out in the Bernabeu – can he do the same to the Red men in Saint-Denis on Saturday night?
He’s a very tempting 7/2 to score anytime (90 mins betting) in the final, and I can certainly envisage that possibility. Karim Benzema, pictured above (4/1 First goalscorer) has been a revelation of late, frankly, and at 34 is in the form of his life.
Throw in Vinicius Junior (Vini Jr), another prodigious young Brazilian talent (7/1 to score the game’s opener), and there’s three massive threats to that potential seventh European crown for Anfield’s finest.
Liverpool, for me, have not been at their best in recent weeks. A huge battle with City for the domestic title is over, and will have taken plenty out of their energy tanks. Mo Salah, pictured above (7/2 First goalscorer) has been, for him, a tad muted. Injuries, inevitable given the hectic schedule, have taken their toll. Jota, Mane, Diaz and Salah need to be absolutely on fire in the French capital.
What Liverpool must do on Saturday is what they traditionally do so well, so breathtakingly at times – attack. Real are fallible – City proved that. But what they are also is resilient, proud, and streetwise. Cute. Experienced. Determined.
The Egyptian King and co need to be firing on all dynamic cylinders for me if this is to have a happy ending for Jurgen Klopp. In my view Real can, and will, score.
Over to you then, Liverpool. Fire up the cavalry. Sound the horns. That controversial 2018 Final loss needs avenging. Could be a real thriller.