Liverpool will need to bounce back from their Premier League heartbreak quickly if they are to claim Champions League glory when they face Real Madrid this weekend.
The Reds’ pursuit of the unprecedented quadruple officially ended on Sunday after Manchester City sealed their sixth top-flight title.
Liverpool did their job as they won 3-1 to Wolves but City’s comeback from two down to win 3-2 against Aston Villa was enough for the crown.
However, Jurgen Klopp’s side can still lift the prize their rivals covet the most as Europe’s most prestigious competition reaching its climax.
And a seventh Champions League trophy to add to their domestic cup double would still represent an incredible season for Liverpool.
But beating European powerhouse Madrid will be no easy feat, with Gareth Bale inspiring Los Blancos to a 3-1 triumph when these two sides met in the 2018 Champions League final.
Newcastle transfer news: Toon want Paqueta, £25.5m for Ekitike, Botman eyed
The Pots and full list of teams that qualified for the Champions League next season
Ferdinand and Terry reignite feud and take aim at each other’s ‘fragile egos’
Drinkwater says time at Chelsea was ‘business move gone wrong’ as he says sorry to fans
Villa close in on third summer signing as they reach agreement for Newcastle target
Chelsea advised to re-sign defender who ‘man-marked Salah out of a game’
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: talkSPORT commentary
The 2022 Champions League final is set to take place on Saturday, May 28 at the Stade de France in Paris with kick-off set for 8pm UK time.
It was originally planned to take place at the Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg but UEFA moved the match following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
France has not hosted a UEFA Champions League final since 2006.
talkSPORT will have live coverage of the game with commentary coming from Jim Proudfoot and ex-Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Townsend
Liverpool secured another shot at silverware first by beating Villarreal 5-2 on aggregate in their semi-final showdown.
Then, Real Madrid and Man City put on an all-time classic with the Spanish giants prevailing 6-5 on aggregate.
To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream. You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart sparker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: Team news
Liverpool’s injury problems appear to have eased after Thiago Alcantara returned to full first-team training.
The Spaniard had been a doubt for the match after limping off against Wolves last week, but he is fit and ready to go.
Fellow midfielder Fabinho is back in training and should also be full fit to play, while Virgil van Dijk was rested for the last game of the season to maintain his fitness.
Madrid meanwhile have David Alaba back in training following an abductor problem but he missed the 0-0 draw with Real Betis on Friday.
Bale was denied his own Bernabeu send-off during that game, but could be handed a lifeline during his final game at the club in Paris.
Champions League: Routes to the final
Round of 16
- Inter Milan 1-2 Liverpool – FT
- Paris Saint-Germain 2-3 Real Madrid – FT
- Chelsea 4-5 Real Madrid – FT
- Benfica 4-6 Liverpool – FT
- Villarreal 2-5 Liverpool – FT
- Real Madrid 6-5 Man City – FT
- Liverpool v Real Madrid
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: What has been said?
Klopp: “Losing the league today of course increased the desire to put it right next week, and yeah, what’s happened has increased the desire for us (to win the Champions League) for sure.
“There is incredible expectation on this team, but that’s ok. I am incredibly proud, of course I am, the boys played an incredible season, the whole journey so far has been absolutely exceptional.
“It has been incredible, and for us it doesn’t end today. We have a week now to prepare for the final and that is what we will do.
“We will try absolutely everything. The season was so close, so tight, it came down to moments, decisions.
“What I learned about life is, if you stay focused and keep going, you get the reward. Not today, but we will keep going and it will happen.”
Klopp in his press conference on Friday: “I’ve no idea how it will feel if we win. In the moment, we’re in the mood to prepare a real game and a proper fight.
“Real Madrid are the most decorated club in the Champions League, manager can win four times, we cannot get this experience overnight.
“We’re experienced too, 3rd final in five years. That’s special”
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: Match facts
- Real Madrid winger Vinícius Júnior has been directly involved in nine goals in the UEFA Champions League this season (three goals, six assists) – the last South American player to be directly involved in 10+ in a single campaign in the competition while 21 or under was Lionel Messi in 2008-09 (14 – nine goals, five assists).
- Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold could make his third appearance in a UEFA Champions League final. Aged 23 years and 233 days on the day of this year’s final, he would be the second-youngest player in the competition’s history to play in three finals, after Alessandro Del Piero in 1998 (23y 192d), while the right-back could be the youngest to start three such finals, surpassing Thomas Müller (23y 254d).
- Karim Benzema has scored 15 goals for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League this season, just two behind the all-time record in a single European Cup/UEFA Champions League campaign (17, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013-14). If he scores in this game, Benzema would also become the outright third top scorer in the history of the two competitions (currently level with Robert Lewandowski on 86), behind Cristiano Ronaldo (140) and Lionel Messi (125).
- Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Mohamed Salah has scored 33 goals and made 11 assists for Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League – only Robert Lewandowski (55) and Kylian Mbappé (47) have been directly involved in more goals. In this period, Salah is one of only two players with 30+ goals and 10+ assists in the competition, along with Lionel Messi.
- Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who will be 34 years and 160 days old on the day of the game, would be second-oldest player to score in a UEFA Champions League final, after Paolo Maldini for AC Milan in 2005 (36y 333d, also v Liverpool). Benzema opened the scoring in a 3-1 win the last time these two teams faced in the final of the competition, back in 2018.
- Jordan Henderson could make his 50th UEFA Champions League appearance for Liverpool (currently on 49), which would see him join Jamie Carragher (80), Steven Gerrard (73) and Phil Neal (57) as the only English players to reach 50 games for the Reds in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League.
- Real Madrid have five different players in their squad with 100+ UEFA Champions League appearances (Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Marcelo and David Alaba) – they could become the first team to name a starting XI for a final with four or more different players having made a century of appearances in the competition. The current-most is three, which was also by Real Madrid in the 2018 final (Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos).
- Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has scored 33 goals under Jürgen Klopp in the UEFA Champions League; only three players have ever netted more while playing under a single manager in the competition’s history – Lionel Messi under Pep Guardiola (43), Ruud van Nistelrooy under Sir Alex Ferguson (35) and Thierry Henry under Arsène Wenger (35).
- Liverpool have allowed fewer opposition sequences of 10+ uninterrupted passes per game than any other team in the UEFA Champions League this season (4.1). Furthermore, only Ajax (7.4) – who were eliminated in the last 16 – allowed fewer opposition passes per defensive action than Liverpool (8.5) this term.
- Carlo Ancelotti is looking to win the UEFA Champions League for the fourth time; the most by any manager in the competition’s history (after 2002-03 & 2006-07 with AC Milan, and 2013-14 with current club Real Madrid). Ancelotti has lifted the trophy in three of his previous four UEFA Champions League finals, only failing to do so against Liverpool in 2004-05 with AC Milan (lost 2-3 on penalties).
- Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has faced Real Madrid more times than any other opponent in the UEFA Champions League (9), winning just three of those matches (D2 L4). Among teams he has faced at least three times in the competition, against no other opponent does Klopp have a lower win percentage (33%).
- Real Madrid are aiming to win the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for the 14th time, which would then be twice as many as any other team (7, AC Milan). Los Blancos have lifted the trophy on each of the last seven occasions when they have appeared in the final, with their last defeat in the showpiece coming against Liverpool back in 1981 – a game that was also played in Paris thanks to an Alan Kennedy winner.
- Liverpool are looking to win the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for the seventh time in their history – a victory in Paris would take them level with AC Milan (7), and leave them only behind opponents Real Madrid (13) for the most overall victories across the two competitions.
- Liverpool and Real Madrid will meet for the third time in the final of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League, the most between two clubs across the history of the two competitions. Liverpool won the first final back in 1981 (1-0), before Real Madrid beat Jürgen Klopp’s side 3-1 in 2018.
- This will be the ninth meeting between Liverpool and Real Madrid in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League – after winning the first three between 1981 and 2009, the Reds are winless in the last five (D1 L4), including a defeat in the final in 2018.
Betting Offers Of The Weekend
Bet Of The Day: Sky Bet – Salah & Benzema 2+ shots on target each, 2+ corners each team in each half & 20+ booking pts each team (90 mins only) @
Was 55/1 80/1 – BET HERE
New Customer Sign Up Offer: 888Sport – Get 10/1 Liverpool to win OR 20/1 Real Madrid to win (£5 max bet)* – CLAIM HERE
New customers only. Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.5) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Casino bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs apply 18+ begambleaware.org
18+ T&Cs Apply. Begambleaware.org