It’s all been building up to this one. It’s Liverpool vs Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
The two behemoths of the game will head to Paris for a replay of the 2018 final, which still lives fresh in the memory for a multitude of reasons: Mohamed Salah’s injury, Gareth Bale’s worldie, Loris Karius’ nightmare…the list goes on.
The narrative writes itself, and with two teams of this quality, all the signs suggest they’ll put on another iconic spectacle on the grandest stage in European football.
Here’s all you need to know about the game.
When is kick off? Saturday 28 May, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Stade de France, Paris
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport 1/BT Sport YouTube channel (UK), Paramount+ (US)
Highlights? BT Sport YouTube channel
Referee? Clément Turpin (France)
VAR? Jérôme Brisard (France)
Jurgen Klopp will be doing a lot of sweating as no fewer than four of his preferred starters aren’t at full health.
Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk were both back on the bench for the season-ender against Wolves and will be confident of starting the final, while Fabinho was back in training on Wednesday after overcoming a hamstring injury.
Things are looking good for those three but there are some concerns about Thiago, who limped out of the Wolves game with an Achilles injury. There is hope he will be fit enough to play, although his chances of lasting 90 minutes appear slim at this point.
There will be no sign of Divock Origi after he sustained a muscle injury in training, although Joe Gomez is expected to make it to the bench after avoiding a nasty ankle injury.
The main concern for Real involves David Alaba. The Austrian missed a fair few weeks with an adductor problem and was initially slated to return in the season finale against Real Betis, only for a minor flare-up to keep him sidelined.
He was back in team training on Wednesday, however, and is expected to be fit enough to start this one.
Choosing a winner from these two is tough. Liverpool are the better team, but Real just have this je ne sais quoi when it comes to Champions League games. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are monsters on this stage.
There seems certain to be plenty of goals in this one, but just who will score them is up for debate. Liverpool like to start fast and could blow Real away early on, but Los Blancos do their best work with the pressure ramped up late on.
Extra-time may be needed to decide this one, and across 120 minutes, expect Liverpool’s quality to shine through.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Real Madrid