It is well known that the small details can decide a final and the one on Saturday is full of arguments for and against both Real Madrid and Liverpool..."> It is well known that the small details can decide a final and the one on Saturday is full of arguments for and against both Real Madrid and Liverpool...">

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Champions League final 10 keys to look out for

5 months ago  Raphael   Sport News

It is well known that the small details can decide a final and the one on Saturday is full of arguments for and against both Real Madrid and Liverpool.

Below are the 10 main keys to deciding the outcome of the final in Kiev.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid need goals and leadership on the pitch and need look no further than the man who has scored 15 in the Champions League their season and who notched two in last year's final.

He didn't score in the semi-final against Bayern Munich, but the Portugal international is crucial again.

2. Mohamed Salah

Liverpool's star man is in the form of his life and can truly become a contender for the Ballon d'Or with victory.

Alongside Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, the Reds have one of the most deadly tridents in the game with a record breaking 29 goals between them in 14 games in this year's competition.

3. Goalkeepers

Keylor Navas proved his critics wrong with his man of the match display in the semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich, while doubts still surround Loris Karius.

"He makes mistakes and has a habit of badly palming shots away, creating more danger," said ex-Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson of the team's shot-stopper.

4. Marcelo

It's no secret that his technique and unpredictability make Marcelo a threat in attack, but Salah will look to exploit any gaps he leaves behind him and the Brazilian will have no choice but to be more disciplined.

5. Possession

Neither of these sides need possession to win, as was reflected in the semi-finals, but it will be valuable for the reigning champions, who can protect themselves whilst on the ball.

6. The rhythm of the match

Liverpool will be desperate to exploit any increase in speed and get in behind as Los Blancos get down the wings.

Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Isco will look to dominate the ball and keep the pace slow, without the frantic tos and fros that Liverpool will hope for.

7. Gareth Bale

He could be Zinedine Zidane's secret weapon.

It would be a risk given he lacks the discipline of some teammates, but it could pay off spectacularly.

8. Hunger

Real Madrid can make it three Champions League titles in a row and four in five years, but are the team already satisfied or do they still have a competitive drive for more?

Liverpool's hunger is insatiable, but after 13 years without victory in the competition they lack experience.

9. Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool's coach is one of the best in the world and it's only five years since his Borussia Dortmund side humiliated Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid with a 4-1 win.

Few men can exploit Real Madrid's weaknesses as Klopp can.

Just ask Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.

10. The referee

Serbian official Milorad Mazic, who is 45-years old, will take charge of the biggest game of his life to date.

The pressure will be on, particularly given other controversies in this season's competition.


Source: Marca


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