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Real Madrid v Liverpool: Michael Owen’s Champions League final prediction

26 May 2018

I have never been in a Champions League final twice in a row.

"Going to the Champions League final is hard to do, maybe a once in a lifetime chance and I know that is how I felt at the time".

Not just a first Champions League success, but a first major title in football in his maiden cup final.

Real go into the game aiming to win the European Cup for a third successive season, following wins against Atletico Madrid in 2016 and Juventus 12 months ago. But this Liverpool team will be very optimistic of winning their sixth Champions League against two-time Champions League defenders.

Liverpool's head of club and supporter liaison, Tony Barrett, said making travel and accommodation arrangements in Kiev had been a "nightmare" for many Liverpool fans.

That meant up to 1,000 fans, some of whom had paid up to £2,000 (US$2,670) for the flights, were left desperately trying to find alternative ways of reaching the city for Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Coach Zinedine Zidane, meanwhile, is on the brink of a third straight Champions League win as a coach.

Real Madrid
REAL MADRID CF Real Madrid

While Los Blancos are the heavy favourites going in to the Final, their opponents are no less illustrious albeit with a forgettable recent past. Jurgen Klopp has transformed them into the swashbuckling, goal-scoring side that we have come to love.

Whereas Ronaldo has been performing at the highest level for almost a decade now, Liverpool talisman Salah has yet to prove he can mirror such consistency and Lawrenson believes the Egypt global still has some way to go before he reaches the same level.

"To win a fifth Champions League would be the business", he said earlier this week.

Asked whether Real's experience will be a factor in determining the outcome of the game, the Liverpool boss told his pre-match press conference in Ukraine: "How can I know it?" Cristiano Ronaldo has taken as many as 79 shots to score his 15 Champions League goals this season, finding the net 19% of the time. In the final half hour, that number is 11. "He is an incredible player with a tremendous quality", Ronaldo told El Partidazo de COPE.

On the other hand, Klopp must have a clear idea of who his best 11 would be.

The troika of Mane, Firmino and Salah has wreaked havoc throughout the tournament, with the experience of underappreciated James Milner unleashing the chains of this squad whenever possible with 9 assists, which is a tournament record.

"We have to play the flawless match to win the game and if the midfield is good, it gives more stability to the team, which is why, if we do our job properly, it will make it easier for our defence and the attackers to do their job". The table is set! Will it be the current European giants or the illustrious Reds of the past?

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Real Madrid v Liverpool: Michael Owen’s Champions League final prediction