There are just two days left before Liverpool and Real Madrid run it back. Los Blancos won the previous Champions League final between these two great teams in 2018. The Reds will be seeking revenge when they take on a Real Madrid side who beat them 3-1 in 2018. Bet Central has compiled a combined XI of the two best teams in this year’s competition.
This combined XI was selected based on the players’ performances in this season’s UCL and the fact that both teams usually play in a 4-3-3 formation made selecting this side a bit easier.
GK: Thibaut Courtois
Both of these sides have world-class goalkeepers in Courtois and Alisson which is why it was difficult to choose between the two. I’ve decided to go with the Belgian because of his contributions in the knockout phase of the competition when he made fantastic saves to keep his side in the UCL. Courtois has made the most saves in this year’s UCL (52) and will play a crucial role if his team are to beat a fantastic Liverpool side.
CB: Ibrahima Konaté
Ibrahima Konaté has had a fantastic first season for Liverpool, especially in the Champions League. The Frenchman has been in stunning form since cementing his place in Klopp’s first-team over recent months and Real Madrid’s backline simply does not compare to Liverpool’s.
CB: Virgil van Dijk
For me, the best centre-back in the world. The Dutchman has had a great comeback season after missing the majority of last season due to an ACL injury and is reminding people why he’s considered by some as the best CB in world football. He’s played 8 games in the UCL this season and has been crucial to Liverpool making it to the final.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold
This was simply an easy choice to make, TAA is arguably the best right-back in the world and has put in performances to prove that this season. He’s amazing going forward and has improved his defensive side of the game. His passing and crossing are world-class and he has provided 3 assists in this year’s competition. Carvajal hasn’t had the best of the times in the last two years with various fitness issues and has to miss out.
LB: Andy Robertson
The left-back’s contribution in the final third has been invaluable to the English club, with 3 assists to his name. Real Madrid does have a defensively solid left-back in Ferland Mendy, but he has to make way for a more well-rounded full-back.
This was another incredibly hard decision to make considering how good Fabinho and Casemiro have been for their clubs this season. At the heart of Real Madrid’s midfield, Casemiro has to make this team. The difference between Real’s defending in the first and second legs against Manchester City shows us the Brazilian’s importance. Fabinho has been Casemiro’s deputy with the Brazilian national team as well.
CM: Luka Modric
Despite him being 36 years old, the Croatian continues to age like a fine wine. The Madrid magician is a game-changer and could have a big impact on Saturday’s final. He has 4 assists to his name including his outside of the foot pass to set up Rodrygo to score and keep Madrid alive in the quarterfinal second leg against Chelsea.
CM: Thiago Alcântara
Liverpool will be desperate for the Spaniard to recover in time for Paris. He pulls the strings in their midfield and provides plenty of ammunition for the forwards. He’s a crucial player for Liverpool and is in this side ahead of Toni Kroos and his teammate Naby Keïta based on how valuable he is to the Merseyside team.
RW: Mohamed Salah
He’s an obvious choice for this position and there’s no way I can exclude Mo Salah from this team. The Egyptian King is currently the best in his position, a position in which there has been no fixed starter for Real Madrid this season, Salah has had another fantastic UCL campaign, scoring 8 goals and registering 2 assists in 12 games.
LW: Sadio Mané
This one was probably the toughest of the lot with two fantastic players who’ve been valuable for their teams. It was between Vinicius Junior and Sadio Mané and I had to go with the Senegalese for his record in the KO stage. He has scored 3 important goals for his side in the KO phase of the competition, against Benfica and Villarreal,
CF: Karim Benzema
Never mind that Liverpool don’t have an out-and-out number nine, this still would’ve been an easy choice. Karim Benzema is the leading goalscorer in this year’s competition with 15 goals in 11 appearances. He’s been simply outstanding for Los Blancos, scoring important goals in the KO phase against Chelsea and Man City, not to mention his hattrick against PSG in the round of 16 second leg.