Europe’s most prestigious competition is coming to its fag end, with Real Madrid and Liverpool left to battle it out in the final.
Both sides have played some amazing football up to this point and were a part of the thrilling semi-final matches.
Real Madrid, with the help of Rodrygo’s late goal, sank Manchester City’s chances (6-5 on aggregate).
Liverpool cruised past Villareal (5-2) in the semi-finals.
Liverpool’s journey to final
Liverpool created ripples by winning all six of their group matches.
In the last 16, they met Inter Milan. A 2-0 win at San Siro in the first leg saw them through despite a 1-0 defeat at Anfield.
In the quarter-finals, Liverpool thrashed Benfica 3-1 in Lisbon in the first leg, followed by a 3-3 home draw.
Against Villarreal in the semi-finals, Liverpool smashed three goals in 12 minutes in the second leg, to break a 2:2 stalemate and emerged winners.
Real Madrid’s journey to final
Real Madrid’s Champions League journey started awkwardly as they lost 2-1 at home to Moldovan champions FC Sheriff in their second group match.
That seemed to spur Ancelotti’s side on, however, as they won all their remaining group games to finish top of Group D.
Their next opponents were PSG.
Real Madrid lost the first leg in Paris 1-0 and then conceded just before half-time in the return fixture at the Bernabeu.
Just as it looked as though they were down and out, a sensational second-half hat-trick from captain Karim Benzema secured a place in the quarter-finals.
Next, they met Chelsea.
Madrid looked to have settled matters, having won 3-1 in the first leg in west London.
However, Chelsea went 3-0 up with 15 minutes left to play in the second leg.
When everything looked lost, a Rodrygo volley sent the game to extra time and Benzema scoring the winner shortly after the restart.
In the semi-final, City won 4-3 at the Etihad and then went 1-0 up late on in the second leg.
However, two late goals from Rodrygo levelled the tie at 5-5 on aggregate.
Once again, Benzema came to the rescue for Real Madrid, scoring from the spot in extra time.
Head to Head record
Real Madrid and Liverpool have previously met on eight occasions in European competition.
The Los Blancos had four wins compared to three wins for the Reds, while the most recent encounter ended in a draw.
In the recent matches, Real Madrid have a clear edge.
These sides met in the 2018 Champions League final.
This game saw Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah taken off injured in the first half after a challenge from Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.
Liverpool went on to lose the game 3-1.
They faced each other in last season’s quarter-finals, with Madrid winning the first leg 3-1 at home, followed by a goalless draw at Anfield.
It is certain that Divock Origi has played his last game for the club after sustaining a muscular problem in training.
Influential midfielder Thiago was a doubt after sustaining an Achilles injury, but now there is a chance he will feature, albeit not for the full match.
Fabinho’s hamstring injury is expected to let up in time after he returned to team training on Wednesday.
Joe Gomez should also be a part of the squad after bouncing back quickly from an ankle knock.
Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah were on the bench last weekend after their FA Cup final knocks and will expect to return to the first XI here.
Madrid, meanwhile, have Eden Hazard on the treatment table. The Belgian has been out since March with a leg injury.
Gareth Bale has also missed matches in recent weeks due to a back problem.
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mane, Diaz
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr
Who will win
Real Madrid has a shaky back line.
The Reds attackers in particular should feel confident about bagging a couple of strikes against them.
However thanks to Real Madrid’s never say die attitude, this is an almost impossible game to predict.
Our prediction is a 2-0 win for Liverpool.