Liverpool and Real Madrid meet in the Champions League final for the second time in four years – although circumstances feel quite different this time around.
Back in 2018, Liverpool were the exciting new kids on the block, buoyed by the arrival of Virgil van Dijk and the electric form of Mohamed Salah. While you’d be hard-pressed to class the Reds as underdogs, they were facing a Madrid side vying for their fourth European title in the last five years.
And Madrid seemed ready to defend their title, albeit a number of squad members now well into their thirties.
This time around, it’s Liverpool who are at the peak of their powers, while this Madrid side feel like they are in a liminal space – mixing the experience of past winners of Karim Benzema, Casemiro and Luka Modric with the exciting potential of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Eduardo Camavinga, to create a team full of speed and power with the rare knack of knowing how to win.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have looked almost unstoppable this season, missing out on a domestic treble by just one point. The emergence of Ibrahima Konate alongside van Dijk, Thiago finally coming into his own and the irresistible talent of Luis Diaz have helped Liverpool grow into one of the most dominant sides the world has ever seen.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 17, 2022
It’s round two in the battle of the ages, here’s everything you need to know.
When and where?
Saturday 28th May – 20:00 BST
Stade De France, Saint-Denis, France
How to watch
The game will be shown live on BT Sport and the BT Sport YouTube channel (free of charge) for those who don’t have a subscription.
Jurgen Klopp has somewhat of a midfield crisis on his hands after Thiago Alcantara limped of the field in their final league game of the season against Wolves, joining Fabinho on the injury list.
The Spaniard’s time at Anfield has been one tainted by frustration as his sublime displays of class are all too frequently cut short by persistent fitness issues.
According to the Telegraph, Klopp said: “Not good but I cannot say more.
“He was outside with the families (on the lap of appreciation) and had his little girl on his shoulders, so he could walk. That’s obviously a good sign. All the rest we will see from tomorrow.”
Jürgen Klopp says he thinks Thiago will be out of the Champions League final after picking up an injury against Wolves pic.twitter.com/cUKZ9S7e9w
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 22, 2022
Madrid are likely sweating over the fitness of a number of first team players following their 0-0 draw at home to Real Betis.
Summer signing David Alaba missed the clash altogether with an adductor issue, while Eden Hazard and Isco were both only fit enough for the bench, remaining a doubt for Sunday’s big game.
Gareth Bale and Marcelo also remain doubts, although it seems unlikely they’d have seen a minute of action even if they were fit.
Route to the final (KO stages)
2-1 vs Inter Milan
6-4 vs Benfica
5-2 vs Villarreal
3-2 vs Paris St. Germain
5-4 vs Chelsea
6-5 vs Manchester City
StoryHub score prediction
Liverpool 1-2 Real Madrid
First goalscorer: Karim Benzema
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) May 6, 2022