In a repeat of the 1981 and 2018 finals, Liverpool and Real Madrid will lock horns for the third time in European football’s showpiece match. In the European Cup final in Paris 41 years ago the English club were victorious 1-0 thanks to Alan Kennedy’s winner. While in 2018 in Kyiv, the Spaniards lifted the Champions League trophy thanks to a Gareth Bale-inspired 3-1 victory.
The European giants have 19 titles between them – Real Madrid have won the competition a record 13 times while Liverpool have won it six. And on Saturday night in Paris they will look to add another trophy to their glittering haul.
Real, the world’s most valuable football club, come into the final on a high having finished 13 points clear of Barcelona to win the La Liga title. Liverpool missed out on a historic quadruple after Manchester City pipped them to the Premier League title by just one point last weekend. However, the Anfield side still have their eyes on a third trophy this season after previously winning the English League Cup and FA Cup.
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On their journey to the final Los Blancos have made amazing comebacks in the knockout stages to see off Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City. Liverpool have reached the showpiece following aggregate victories over Inter Milan, Benfica and Villarreal.
1. Match details: kick-off time, TV coverage and live stream
The 2022 Uefa Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid will be held at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, on Saturday 28 May. Kick-off is at 8pm (BST) and French official Clément Turpin will be the match referee. The Stade de France also held the 2000 and 2006 Champions League finals.
The big match will be exclusively live in the UK on BT Sport 1, coverage begins at 6pm. The broadcaster will also stream the game for free via btsport.com, the BT Sport app and the BT Sport YouTube channel.
2. Previous finals and head-to-head
- Games played: 8
- Real Madrid wins: 4
- Liverpool wins: 3
- Draws: 1
- Real Madrid’s European Cup titles (13): 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1965-66, 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2001-02, 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18
- Liverpool’s European Cup titles (six): 1976-77, 1977-78, 1980-81, 1983-84, 2004-05, 2018-19
1981 European Cup final: Liverpool 1 Real Madrid 0
- Where: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
- Liverpool goalscorer: Alan Kennedy (81 minutes)
2018 Champions League final: Real Madrid 3 Liverpool 1
- Where: NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine
- Real goalscorers: Karim Benzema (51 mins), Gareth Bale (63 and 83 mins)
- Liverpool goalscorer: Sadio Mané (55 mins)
3. Route to the final
- 2021-22 Champions League record: W10, D1, L1, goals scored 30, goals conceded 13
- Top scorer: Mohamed Salah (8)
- Group B: winners
- Round of 16: beat Inter 2-1 on aggregate
- Quarter-finals: beat Benfica 6-4 on aggregate
- Semi-finals: beat Villarreal 5-2 on aggregate
- 2021-22 Champions League record: W8, D0, L4, goals scored 28, goals conceded 14
- Top scorer: Karim Benzema (15)
- Group D: winners
- Round of 16: beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 on aggregate
- Quarter-finals: beat Chelsea 5-4 on aggregate
- Semi-finals: beat Man City 6-5 on aggregate
4. The bosses: Jürgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti
German head coach Jürgen Klopp, 54, is aiming to win his second Champions League with Liverpool. The Reds beat Tottenham Hotspur in an all-English final in Madrid in 2019. Real’s Carlo Ancelotti has his eyes on a record fourth career title in what will be his fifth final. The 62-year-old Italian, who previously managed Liverpool’s rivals Everton, led AC Milan to victory in 2003 and 2007 and also won the trophy in 2014 in his first spell as Real boss.
5. Possible starting XIs
Liverpool’s predicted line-up (4-3-3)
- Trent Alexander-Arnold
- Ibrahim Konate
- Virgil van Dijk
- Andy Robertson
- Jordan Henderson
- Naby Keita
- Mohamed Salah
- Sadio Mane
- Luis Diaz
Real Madrid’s predicted line-up (4-3-3)
- Thibaut Courtois
- Dani Carvajal
- Eder Militao
- David Alaba
- Ferland Mendy
- Toni Kroos
- Luka Modric
- Fede Valverde
- Karim Benzema
- Vinicius Junior
6. Predictions: who will win the Champions League final?
Michael Owen, who played for both clubs in his career, does not think that the final will be such a close affair. Speaking to the Daily Mail, the former England striker is backing Liverpool to “blow away” the Spaniards and predicts a “3-1 or 3-0” victory for the Merseysiders. “I think they could beat them reasonably convincingly because they are an exceptional team at the minute and are too good for Madrid.”
Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is also “confident” that his former team will beat Real. Speaking on Sky Bet’s The Overlap podcast, the pundit acknowledged that “of course, Real can win – it’s a one-off game”, but believes that the Reds will come through. On the same podcast Gary Neville said he doesn’t think Liverpool will lift the trophy. When discussing Real’s ability for comebacks, he picked out their midfield as the key area. “I look at Real Madrid’s midfield in Casemiro, [Toni] Kroos, [Luka] Modric – plus the two that come in late with [Federico] Valverde and [Eduardo] Camavinga – those five players drive them right from the first minute and right to the end,” Neville said. “I think Liverpool’s midfield is their weak point and in the last 15 minutes that midfield for Real Madrid – the five of them combined – will see them win the game on Saturday.”
Real Madrid have pulled off some “dizzying comebacks” in this season’s Champions League, said Tom Kershaw in The Independent. But Liverpool are a “stronger squad” and have “consistently shown the ability to rise to the occasion themselves”. He predicts a 3-1 win for Klopp’s side.
“On paper”, Liverpool are the “better” team, said Paul Kasabian on Bleacher Report. But after their “sensational and mystifying” Champions League run, Real Madrid appear to be “a team of destiny after living on the edge for the entire knockout round and somehow surviving”. In the end, “all signs point to a tremendous finish” to one of the most exciting knockout rounds in history. “The guess here is Liverpool wins a classic, 3-2.”
Liverpool go into the final as favourites and “rightfully so after a stellar season”, said Matt Verri in the London Evening Standard. Real captain Karim Benzema, the tournament’s top scorer this season with 15 goals, and his strike partner Vinicius Jr will “fancy their chances of getting success against Liverpool’s high-line”. However, the Reds are the “more complete team” and are well placed to secure a third trophy of the season. “Liverpool to win, 3-1.”
“Talk about a tough game to call,” said Ben Knapton on SportsMole. After their penalty shoot-out wins in the League Cup and FA Cup finals, Klopp’s side “may be taken all the way to spot kicks again”. “We believe that Liverpool’s recent experience from 12 yards will help them get their hands on Europe’s biggest prize for the seventh time and end the Real fairytale. Liverpool 2-2 Real Madrid (A.E.T - Liverpool to win on penalties).”
Some fans and pundits will argue that Real Madrid have been “lucky” in this season’s Champions League, said tipster Fredo on Oddschecker.com. But it takes “another type of mentality” to be down two goals in the 89th minute and still prevail against the champions of England. That is why the “champions mentality” will give Real their 14th title.
While “conventional wisdom” would have Liverpool as the “better” team – “whatever that’s worth in a massive game such as this” – betting against Real Madrid’s Champions League magic “feels foolish”, said Kyle Bonn on SportingNews.com. “In a game in which it’s impossible to separate the teams, it’s perhaps best not to try separating them at all.”
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