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Narrative Ultras: Champions League Pre-Match Edition

The last gasp of narrative threads are emerging as we approach the point where they all get weaved together.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Approaching a massive game with a large build-up means you’ve got a lot of narrative threads floating. As it stands, we’ve just about reached the point where all that’s left will be the playing and so those threads are finally slowing. We’re here to give you a final round up of a few breaking pieces and fun tidbits that have emerged ahead of today’s match.


Gareth Bale Expected to Start

As Steph touched on in her article, news reports out of Spain and picked up by the Echo point to the expectation that Madrid winger Gareth Bale will be starting in today’s affair. Making room for Bale would be Ronaldo’s long-time strike partner, Karim Benzema. An interesting note on Bale is that a Madrid victory would draw him level with Liverpool player Phil Neal with four Champions League Winner’s Medals.


Emre Can, James Milner, and Adam Lallana Available for Selection

Word out of the Liverpool camp is that Jurgen Klopp will be able to select each of Emre Can, James Milner, and Adam Lallana for today’s match. A shock return of sorts for Emre Can who was dropped from Germany’s World Cup squad earlier this month due to fitness concerns. Even a substitute appearance would be surprising but, all things considered, welcome as the Liverpool midfield looks extra light. These injury boosts are crucial lifts for the squad.


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Flown to Kiev

Looks like Ox has boarded a plane to Kiev in order to watch his teammates in the Final. While we remain a bit heartbroken over Chambo’s absence on the pitch, it’s certainly a heartwarming revelation to know that he’s going to be among the crowd today. It will be even better if we win and get to see him celebrate with the lads on the field.


Fans Left Stranded Due to Canceled Flights

The spot of unfortunate news this morning is the slate of profiles featuring Liverpool fans kept from making the trip to Kiev due to canceled flights. News has already emerged that the club is working on a process to provide refunds for fans that were left out in the cold. Still, it’s not great to have UEFA’s competence questioned ahead of its biggest event of the year.


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LeBron James’ Investment in Liverpool Has Grown

Today is going to be a big day for LeBron James as not only are his Cleveland Cavaliers in an elimination game with the chance to play in their sport’s championship finals, but also that his investment in Liverpool FC stands to grow. ESPN reported today that his initial investment of $6.5 million has grown to nearly $32 million. Should Liverpool win, that number would only escalate.


And that’s it! All that’s left now is the playing. Come on you Reds!