Liverpool’s Trophy Drought, Madrid hope of Third Successive Title: A Glimpse at Both Teams ahead UEFA Champions League Final Match (1) By Dúródola Abiola Eportah
Liverpool and Real Madrid will lock horns in the grand finale of the 2018 UEFA Champions League in Kiev, Ukraine. Liverpool faces a huge task as the odds favour their Spanish opponent who has sent packing, most of the tournaments fiercest. This is Liverpool’s first appearance in the Competition final since losing to Italian giants AC Milan in 2007.
However, defending champions Madrid are on the verge of winning their 3rd successive final. This year’s final is the second time in the competition’s history. Both teams slug it out in a European Competition final since the Los Blancos were defeated in 1981 final. The winner of this highly coveted trophy will secure a berth in the UEFA European Super Cup with Atletico Madrid.
Zinedine Zidane’s men have been in a scintillating run in the elite league. Having outwitted some of the competition heavyweight amongst which is the last season finalist Juventus. The old ladies of Turin were sent out of the competition after a tense and heated match at the Bernabeu which saw them conceding a late penalty.
Liverpool on the other will have much faith in the trio of Salah, Mane and Firmino. The trilogy has been merciless in front of goals in the competition this season. Liverpool against all odds has also been exceptional, enjoying goal spree in the competition than any other team despite the leakages at the defence.
The match at Kiev will go a long way in determining both team season. With Madrid wealth of experience in the competition in recent years, many expect the Spanish giants to overpower their English opponent. However, many football analysts have opined that it will be a free for all game between both teams.
All eyes will be on the superb and talented Cristiano Ronaldo. The reigning world player of the year who have been instrumental to the team success in the competition leading the scoring and setting new competition record virtually every single match.
Liverpool will also bank on the brilliance and exceptional talent of Mohammed Salah. The Egyptian having joined from Roma during the transfer window have been on the sweet run of form in the competition standing close to Ronaldo in the scoring chart.
Salah and his forward partners have scored no less than 29 goals in the competition this season. That is more than any other forward trident has ever managed in a single campaign. They have trashed the record previously held by Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema (BBC) that was set in 2013-14.
Liverpool will also be hopeful of ending their trophy drought against a team. They lost to the last time both teams meet in the group stage of the competition. Also, this is the first time more than half of the Liverpool current squad will feature in a European Championship final. Facing a more experienced Madrid side who are not new to the gameplay in the final.
Real Madrid and Liverpool are heavyweights in the Europe elite league having won the competition twelve and six times respectively. The Reds secured a final berth after surviving a comeback scare by Eusebio De’Fransceco men in Rome in the second leg of Semi Final match between both teams.
Lovers of the round leather game across the board should gear up for an interesting, intriguing and exciting night of football. It means only Liverpool’s pursuit of a sixth European title stands between Madrid making it three in succession. As the date draws closer and gathers momentum, both teams will be on guard and get their players ready for the final which will also salvage both teams season.
In the second part of this story, we will examine both teams run of form to final.