Date:28th May 2022 at 11:40am
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Two of European football’s most successful clubs go head-to-head on Saturday, as Liverpool face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris. 

The two clubs have a total of 19 European Cup triumphs between them, with the Spanish side’s tally of 13 putting them six clear of any other side.

The La Liga champions’ route to Paris has been far more dramatic than the Reds, too.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have overcome Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in the knockout stages, winning all three ties in dramatic fashion.

Klopp has been boosted by the return of both Fabinho and Thiago

Liverpool, meanwhile, fell just short of the Premier League title last week, and will be out for revenge against the team that beat them in the 2018 final.

Here, we predict the XI that Jurgen Klopp will select for the game.

Goalkeeper

Alisson will start in goal for the Reds ahead of Adrian and Caoimhin Kelleher. The Brazilian has played every single minute of Liverpool’s European campaign so far this season, and has kept four clean sheets in 12 games. Alisson, along with his back four, will be tasked with keeping Karim Benzema at bay; the Frenchman has ten goals in his last five Champions League games.

Defence

At the back, Klopp will most likely go with Ibrahima Konate to partner Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman sat out the second leg of their quarter-final tie with Benfica, but has otherwise played in every knockout round so far. Konate has started seven of the Reds’ last eight games in European competition, and will be preferred to Joel Matip.

Van Dijk was man of the match in Liverpool’s last Champions League final appearance

Trent Alexander-Arnold will start on the right. The Englishman has provided four assists in the Champions League, and will be hoping to add to that tally.

On the left, Andy Robertson will start his third Champions League final for the club. The Scot has been tested by the emergence of Kostas Tsimikas this season, but still looks impressive every time he plays.

Midfield

Brazilian defender Fabinho could return to Klopp’s starting line up after recovering from injury. The German stated that the midfielder is ‘ready to go’, along with Thiago, who was also previously a doubt for the game. The pair have both been in sensational form this season, and will be looking to complete a treble of cup wins. Club captain Jordan Henderson will most likely complete Liverpool’s midfield trio, ahead of James Milner and Naby Keita.

Fabinho (left) has returned to training and looks likely to start

Forwards

Klopp is spoilt for choice in terms of attackers, and will have a task on his hands to name only three. Mohamed Salah was rested for the final league game of the season against Wolves, presumably with Saturday’s final in mind. The Egyptian was injured and forced to come off early on when the two sides last met in the final four years ago, and he will be out for revenge this time around.

There will be no late heroics for Divock Origi, who has been ruled out of the match by Klopp and has therefore played his last game for the club. Diogo Jota will therefore most likely play through the centre. The Portuguese will be playing in his first Champions League final.

On the other side of Jota could be Luis Diaz. The Colombian has been in sensational form since arriving in England, and could keep Sadio Mane out of the starting line up.

With just hours to go now before kick-off in Paris, the likelihood is that Klopp will know already exactly which players he will select. Regardless of who does and who doesn’t start, the game promises to be a thrilling encounter.

 
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