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Thiago injured for the Champions League final, Konate against Matip and Bale on the bench


Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has a number of key decisions to make ahead of the Champions League final showdown with Real Madrid this weekend.

Liverpool’s pursuit of the treble ended on Sunday after Manchester City sealed the title, but the Reds can still finish with three trophies this season.

Liverpool want revenge on Real Madrid after defeat in 2018 Champions League final

They have played every game possible in all competitions and are now suffering several injuries to end the 2021/22 campaign.

Madrid, meanwhile, won the La Liga title a few weeks ago and, therefore, come into this European showdown looking fit and fresh.

Here, talkSPORT.com takes a look at how these two teams could line up in Paris…

liverpool

The Reds’ growing injury problems worsened after Thiago Alcantara limped off in the win over Wolves on Sunday and is now a doubt for the final.

It has since been confirmed as an Achilles problem which Klopp called ‘not good’ and he now faces a race against time to recover in time.

But as things stand, Thiago is unlikely to start which could give Naby Keita the chance to join captain Jordan Henderson in the middle.

Fabinho has also been nursing a hamstring injury in recent weeks but has returned to training and is expected to be available.

Virgil van Dijk was rested for the 3-1 win over Wolves and will return to round up the defense with Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.

Another key decision for Klopp will be who will partner the Dutchman given Joel Matip’s form this season.

But Vinicius Jr’s raw pace behind Alexander-Arnold may mean Liverpool are using Ibrahima Konate’s recovery speed instead.

In attack, Luis Diaz has established himself alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah as Klopp’s favorite front three.

Thiago injured for the Champions League final, Konate against Matip and Bale on the bench

Konaté’s pace advantage over Matip could give him confidence in Paris

real Madrid

Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti has a much easier task picking his team with a fully fit squad to juggle.

David Alaba is expected to be reinstated in defense alongside Eder Militao after a month on the sidelines.

The defender hasn’t played since the first leg against City in the semi-finals due to muscle fatigue but is now back in training.

Eduardo Camavinga has been impressive in spells but Madrid are likely to call on the experience of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric as midfielders.

Ancelotti will rely on Benzema as the central point of his attack and he will be looking to add to his 15 Champions League goals.

Vinicius will partner the Frenchman on the left while his compatriot Rodrygo is expected to get the nod on the opposite flank.

However, Madrid could still surprise by playing Federico Valverde on the right wing instead to provide more defensive protection.

Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale, who made the difference in the 2018 final against Liverpool, will all be options on the bench.

Thiago injured for the Champions League final, Konate against Matip and Bale on the bench

Valverde’s defensive qualities make him valuable but Rodyrgo’s recent form cannot be overlooked

Liverpool v Real Madrid: talkSPORT commentary

The Champions League final will take place on Saturday 28 May.

The game is scheduled to kick off at the Stade de France at 8pm UK time.

talkSPORT will have a full commentary of the showpiece match.

Coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Adrian Durham.

Comments will then come from Jim Proudfoot and former Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Townsend.

To tune into talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 via the website, click HERE for the live stream. You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, via your smart sparker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

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