Liverpool will lock horns with Tottenham Hotspur in the all-English UEFA Champions League final on Saturday at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid.
The Reds will be hoping to lift the Champions League crown after losing to Real Madrid in the final last time out. As for Tottenham, it will be one of the most significant matches in the club’s history as they aim for their first ever Champions League triumph.
In this article, we will take a look at three Liverpool players who could play a key role in this highly anticipated final this weekend.
Sadio Mane was arguably the most important player for Liverpool in their incredible comeback against Barcelona. Although the Senegalese international failed to find the back of the net, his energy and pace provided Liverpool with some genuine counter-attacking threat.
The ex-RB Leipzig star also ended the campaign as the Premier League’s joint top scorer along with Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. And it goes without saying that he will once again play a key role in this Champions League final.
Salah will also play an important role. But, the Egyptian international missed the second leg against Barcelona due to concussion – making Mane the focal point of the Liverpool attack this weekend.
Fabinho did an impressive job of orchestrating the midfield during Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Barcelona. The Brazilian international showed excellent tenacity and aggression against the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal in the middle of the park.
He also played a critical role in Liverpool’s domestic campaign. However, things could be tricky against a Tottenham side who boast the services of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli in midfield.
These two are gifted with excellent positional awareness and with Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier providing cover for the backline, they will be given the license to move forward. And that’s where Fabinho could come into the fray.
The former Monaco superstar will be looking to cut-off Tottenham’s passing lanes in midfield and provide extensive defensive security to the backline – making him one of the most important players heading into this contest.
Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk has been one of Europe’s best defenders this season if not the best. And ideally, the Dutchman will play a massive role in dealing with the Tottenham Hotspur attack, which could be boosted by the return of Harry Kane this weekend.
van Dijk will also have to deal with the likes of Son Heung-Min and Alli but the main focus should be on Kane if the Englishman manages to return to full fitness.
The former Southampton star has been flawless with his passing and tackling so far and the Liverpool fans will be hoping for more of the same this weekend. In addition, the Dutch international is always a threat from set-pieces and it will be interesting to see how he fares against Tottenham in this highly fascinating Champions League final.