Real Madrid faces Liverpool at the Stade de France this weekend at the UEFA Champions League final. Los Blancos are chasing their fourteenth European Cup victory. This is the third time these two sides have faced off in the world’s biggest match in club football. Liverpool won the first UCL final between the two clubs back in 1981, a game played in France. Madrid hit back in Kyiv in 2018 to lift Ol’ Big Ears that time around.
Real Madrid wrapped up their 35th La Liga title a few weeks ago. With that title victory, manager Carlo Ancelotti became the first manager to win the title in the five top European leagues.
2018 vs 2022 Squad Comparisons
However, it’s not just about breaking records. Winning the title with a few league games still to spare has meant the Italian legend has managed his squad. When we get into the team news, you will see a Los Blancos squad in tip-top shape.
The big story heading into this match is Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and his revenge narrative. He has definitely rubbed a few of the Galacticos in Madrid the wrong way with his comments. Uruguayan midfielder Federico Valverde bizarrely accused the Egyptian of disrespecting the Real Madrid badge earlier this week.
French forward Karim Benzema, unimpressed with Salah’s comments, said this to the media:
“Liverpool have a lot of confidence, they think they have already won the match, maybe. Maybe they think this isn’t the same Real Madrid as last time, these things. Maybe they think they’re favorites.”
“Salah can say whatever he wants. But this is a different game.”
The French forward definitely seems fired up for this fixture. Benzema has scored in all three of Madrid’s incredible comebacks in the knockout stage against PSG, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
UEFA Champions League Final FYIs
TV/Streaming: CBS Sports’ coverage kicks off on Saturday, May 28 (1:30 PM, ET)
Broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and streaming live on Paramount+.
Liverpool-Real Madrid kicks off at 3:00 PM, ET.
Team News: Real Madrid Liverpool
Result Probability: Real Madrid 29% Liverpool 45% Draw 26%
Odds: Real Madrid +230 Liverpool +115 Draw +260
As I referenced earlier in this article, Real Madrid’s squad is in tremendous shape. Having secured the La Liga title all the way back at the beginning of this month, they have managed player minutes perfectly. All players who have experienced niggles have had a rest. We expect Carlo Ancelotti to have a full squad available to him come kick-off time in Paris on Saturday night.
Austrian center-back David Alaba comes into this game with a slight question mark over his fitness. The former Bayern Munich player came off with an adductor problem at halftime of the first leg against Manchester City and has not been seen since. The two-time Champions League winner seems confident he will be fit to play in the showpiece match.
This is what he had to say to the official Real Madrid website when quizzed on his injury status:
“I feel very good and I have had time to recover. I have worked very hard these days to be prepared.”
If Alaba doesn’t prove his fitness to coach Carlo Ancelotti, Nacho Fernandez is likely to start alongside Eder Militao in the heart of the Madrid defense.
Stuart Kavanagh is a sports journalist from Melbourne, Australia. Along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, he is the co-host of the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast. Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.Follow paulmbanks