Paul Merson has backed Liverpool to beat Real Madrid in this weekend’s Champions League final and claim their seventh European Cup.
The Reds’ pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple is over after they lost out to Manchester City in the Premier League title, but they can still win a treble.
After claiming the FA Cup and Carabao Cup trophies, Jurgen Klopp’s side can end their impressive campaign on a high note in Paris on Saturday.
Their opponents, La Liga champions Madrid, have beaten Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain on their route to the final and staged a number of incredible comebacks along the way.
But Merson has predicted a 2-1 win for Liverpool against the 13-time Champions League winners on Saturday.
‘Keeping in mind all the comebacks Real Madrid have pulled off in Europe this season, this is probably a bold call but the team that scores first will win this game,’ Merson told Sportskeeda.
‘In terms of game management, Ancelotti’s side have a lot of experience in the competition and could use every trick in the book to emerge victorious.
‘The race for the 2022 Ballon d’Or is another intriguing subplot to the UEFA Champions League final in Paris, with Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah all set to feature in the game.
‘If I had to pick one, I’d go with the Real Madrid man, as he’s scored goals out of absolutely nothing this season. The goal against Manchester City wasn’t even half a chance, but he gave the goalkeeper no chance. Coming to his penalty, who attempts a Panenka in a UEFA Champions League semi-final when the odds are stacked up against you?
‘Real Madrid rely on Benzema a lot more than Liverpool rely on Salah, so I think he should get his hands on the prized accolade as things stand. Of course, the outcome of the final will have a huge say in this debate, but this is what I believe at this point in time.
‘Predicting a game like this is incredibly hard, but I’m going for a 2-1 Liverpool win. They’ve had a tough few weeks, but if all their players are fully fit, I think they have what it takes to get the job done.
‘Klopp and co missed out on the Premier League title by a point, but it’ll be an unbelievable feat if they finish the season with the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.’
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