| Saturday, May 28th |
Champions League | Stade de France, Paris
8PM BST/3PM EST
We know what Real Madrid can do to teams: a few minutes of stoppage time against Premier League-winning Manchester City really hammered that home.
Karim Benzema is the stuff of nightmares, and seems absolutely able to pull a result out of nothing; Vinicius Jr. will be eyeing the space behind Trent Alexander-Arnold to exploit with his pace. Luka Modrić had been spoken of as though 36 is a bit too old to play at the highest level, but he’s played to prove any doubters wrong.
Liverpool come in as the favorites in Paris, but Real Madrid are no pushovers, and the Reds will need to avoid any level of complacency should they prevail.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mané, Díaz
Liverpool are the stronger side should all of Jürgen Klopp’s players come in fully fit — though this looks in doubt. While Virgil Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, and, now that he’s back in training, Fabinho all seem set to play, doubts swirl around Thiago. The five substitutions will be a help for the recovering Reds.
Should Thiago not be fit — or not be fit to start — expect to see Naby Keïta fill his role. Up front Klopp has a lot of choices to make. He can start with arguably the strongest front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, and Luis Díaz, but the German might be tempted to hold off one pacy threat to use as a sub.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “My boys played a sensational group stage, first time I heard now, I didn’t know it, that an English side won all six games in a group stage. Absolutely exceptional in the Group of Death, we had hard moments – and while we talk about great European nights at Anfield, this year we saw knockout stages away and brought it home. It just shows we have different ways to win football games, not only one way.”
Carlo Ancelotti: “Like I said, [Liverpool have] a lot of quality together, with high intensity and good organisation. They’re one of the best teams. [Jürgen Klopp is] a great coach. I have a good relationship with him. [He’s] A great coach who brought some new things to football with the intensity and offensive pressure [of his teams]. He’s doing a great job.”
Referee: Clement Turpin (France) Assistants: Nicolas Danos, Cyril Gringore (both France) Fourth official: Benoit Bastien (France) VAR: Jerome Brisard (France) VAR Assistants: Willy Delajod (France), Massimiliano Irrati (Italy), Filippo Meli (Italy)
Kickoff is set for 8PM BST/3PM EST tomorrow. In the meantime, The Liverpool Offside team will keep you updated with all of the team news and match buildup as it becomes available, along with providing a matchday liveblog and post-match recaps and reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.