On Saturday, May 28, the Stade de France will be the scene of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, in a match that will witness battles between colleagues on the bench and between players who are the best in the world and are able to win the title in favor of one of the sides.
It is expected that the confrontation will be full of excitement and rivalry between the two parties, given that both of them have many illustrious names capable of bringing the title, and next we review the most prominent 5 expected battles between the two teams:
Karim Benzema vs Virgil van Dijk
It is one of the strongest and most attractive battles that awaits between the French Karim Benzema, the most dangerous striker of the season, and the Dutch Virgil van Dijk, one of the best defenders in the world.
Van Dijk suffered a severe injury last season that forced him to miss the end of the season, but since his recovery, he has shown impressive levels that have made him one of the best central defenders, if not the best in the world. The Dutchman will monitor Benzema’s movements at every moment of the match to stand in front of him and prevent him from fatally guarding the “Reds” goal.
Benzema is the captain of Real Madrid and the most prominent player among its ranks this season, as the 34-year-old Frenchman presents his best version in the European Champions League among the 4 versions he crowned with “Merengue”.
Benzema scored 15 goals in this edition, including 10 in the playoffs, equaling Raul Gonzalez’s record as the team’s third top scorer throughout its history in the Champions League. In the event of a goal scored by Liverpool; It will be the only runner-up behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
Italian Carlo Ancelotti relies a lot on Benzema, and if he is in his day, Real Madrid’s options for winning the continental title will increase, which brings him very close to the first Golden Ball award in his career.
Vinicius Jr and Alexander Arnold’s speed
Vinicius Junior, the Real Madrid winger, and Alexander Arnold, the Liverpool back, have great speed as well as their technical abilities, which makes them one of the most prominent elements of both teams. The Brazilian is living a distinguished season at the offensive level, as he scored 21 goals and assisted 21 assists in various competitions, including 3 goals and 6 assists in the Champions League.
Vinicius represents one of the biggest offensive threats to Meringue, as Carlo Ancelotti set him one goal in the final meeting, which is to search for playing behind Arnold’s back, taking advantage of his progress and contributions in the offensive aspects at the expense of defensive tasks.
Arnold represents a powerful offensive weapon for the Reds, as he passes magical crosses that are exploited by the team’s attacking trio, and the most prominent evidence of this is the passing of 19 crucial balls in various competitions this season.
Given the good levels of Arnold in the offensive part, it is expected that he will force Vinicius to position himself at the back and help Ferland Mendy on the defensive side.
Giant goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and sniper Mohamed Salah
No goalkeeper – in this version – is more effective than Belgian Thibaut Courtois, with an average of 4.4 saves per game, some of which were decisive at times when Real Madrid’s performance fell during the knockout stages.
On the other hand, Liverpool scored 30 goals in this edition of the Champions League, and if they score in the final, they will be the top scorer of the teams.
Egyptian Mohamed Salah leads the Reds’ list of top scorers in the Champions League with eight goals. “Mo” certainly wants to score in the final match and win the title from among Real Madrid’s canines, after defeating Kyiv in 2018 and Al-Masry leaving the match after only half an hour of it due to a severe shoulder injury due to one of his bilateral conflicts with Ramos.
Casemiro and Fabinho are backing elements in Real Madrid and Liverpool
Real Madrid has a defensive center player capable of creating a state of balance in the middle of the field, the Brazilian Casemiro, who has strong qualities, including the ability to cover large areas in the middle of the field and support the back line in the defensive slit and the ability to get the ball out from the back to the front.
Casemiro was able to contribute effectively to the contemporary history of Real Madrid, as he was one of the elements of the team that won the Champions League 4 times in 5 years.
For his part, Liverpool owns the other Brazilian player Fabinho, who recently returned from his injury, with expectations that he will participate in the center of the pivot to help in the defensive part. Liverpool is counting on the defensive support of the two fullbacks, Arnold and Robertson, and then Fabinho’s responsibility is doubled in covering the spaces behind them.
The coaches battle between Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp
There is a good friendship between the Italian Ancelotti and the German Jurgen Klopp, they know each other well, and each of them is familiar with the other’s papers.
Klopp is counting on a method of playing that Ancelotti knows well, and the same is true of the German; But one thing remains hidden from the two: Will Klopp count on Luis Diaz as a left winger, and will Ancelotti rely on Valverde on the right side to limit the attacking capabilities and speeds of the Liverpool front three?
The Italian stands one step away from making history. In the event of his coronation in the Champions League, he will be the first coach to add to his treasury 4 continental titles, while it will be Klopp’s second title.
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