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The Battle of Kiev, as Real Madrid takes on Liverpool (preview)

Liverpool faces holders Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kiev on Saturday, looking for their sixth triumph in the competition.
Jurgen Klopp’s side, who saw off Roma 7-6 defeat on aggregate in the semi-final, faces 12-time champions Real Madrid, who were winners in Cardiff last year and in 2016 in Milan under Zinedine Zidane.
Before locking horns with his Real Madrid counterpart, Klopp has laughed off suggestions Zidane – who has an all-star team at his disposal – has limited tactical coaching knowledge.

“If a lot of people think Zinedine Zidane has not a lot of tactical knowledge and then people think the same about me that would be really funny,” Klopp said.

 

We look back at how Liverpool made it to the Champions League final, charting their progress from a play-off in August
“The two managers in the Champions League final have no clue about tactics? What would that say about the game?
“For me, Zinedine Zidane is one of the best five players of all time in football. I’m longer in Liverpool than he is at Real Madrid and he can win the Champions League for a third time. That’s never happened before.

“Unfortunately I have to accept that he is as brilliant as he was as a player.”
Klopp has lost his last five finals, three with Borussia Dortmund before moving to Anfield in 2015, and two in his debut season with the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp says Zinedine Zidane’s unmatched Champions League record proves he is a brilliant manager.
It’s a record Zidane is keen to extend as he targets a “beautiful” third successive European crown.
Zidane said: “I’ve always been a good competitor, I like to compete and behind all that is a lot of hard work – not only on my part but also the players.
“If you like to compete and want to work hard you can achieve what we are doing. For me this is entirely normal.
“This is beautiful. This is my passion. To reach a final is not easy and, at the same time, we are delighted to be able to play another final.”
Klopp confirmed he had no new injuries concerns ahead of Liverpool’s final training session in Kiev.
Long-term absentees Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), Joe Gomez (ankle) and Joel Matip (thigh) are not available but James Milner and Emre Can are available after overcoming injuries.
Jurgen Klopp admits Real Madrid’s added experience will make them more confident than Liverpool in the Champions league final.
The Reds’ starting line-up is likely to include only Roberto Firmino, Dejan Lovren and Milner from the team which lost the Europa League final two years ago – none of Klopp’s squad has played in a Champions League final.
By contrast Ronaldo could become the fifth player to win five European Cups, while Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo and Isco are all looking for their fourth Champions League medals.
The 12-time winners will be at full-strength in Kiev, with the only issue for Zidane to address concerning who out of Bale, Benzema or Isco will partner Ronaldo in attack.

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