Three key men who could help Liverpool in the Champions League final


Having reached back-to-back UEFA Champions League finals, Liverpool have enjoyed another strong season as they look to bring the curtain down with silverware. With the Merseyside outfit coming up against Tottenham Hotspur in the first all-English encounter for over a decade, Klopp and his men will feel they’ve a strong chance of lifting the trophy after their incredible victory over Barcelona. Going into the clash as considerable favourites, Klopp can take great satisfaction knowing his squad is nearing complete fitness across the board, let’s take a look at three key players who could be the game-changers for the Reds.

3. Georginio Wijnaldum:

‘Gini’ has been quite easily the best midfielder for Liverpool this season. The Dutch international’s fine form has seen him become a mainstay in the side as well as a decisive piece in Jurgen Klopp’s system. Whilst he may not provide much in the way of goal contributions, his two goals in the UCL campaign so far could very well be the most important ones scored for his side so far. His brace coming off the bench against Barcelona helped invigorate his side to blast past the Catalans as they booked their place in the final.

Wijnaldum’s energy and work-rate in midfield has been an asset to Liverpool’s engine room this season. He makes more key passes than his midfield colleagues as well as putting in 1.1 tackles per 90 in this seasons UCL – showcasing his versatility across the middle of the park. His consistency, control and composure has been huge for his side this season. His partnership with Fabinho has also proven key this season, the Dutchman proves equally as tricky to get past as he is currently the least dribbled past midfielder in the side.

In the Premier League this season, he has completed 91% of his 50 passes per 90, the highest in the squad. He is also contributing 1.6 long balls per game too. It is clear that coupled with his work-rate and distribution, Wijnaldum being on song in the final could be decisive for Liverpool in asserting their dominance in the midfield. He has already contributed decisive moments, it would not be surprising to see him crop up with more in the final.

2. Trent Alexander-Arnold:

Trent Alexander-Arnold currently has the most assists of anyone in the Liverpool squad in the UCL this season. The young full-back has continued his growth this year and proved to be consistently important for his side in all competitions. Considering how formidable Liverpool’s full-back pairing is, Alexander-Arnold appears to be the biggest threat of the two.

Whilst he is completing less tackles than Andy Robertson in the Champions League this season, he still averages 1.9 per 90. The England international has also completed the second highest total of interceptions in the Champions League per 90 this season with 1.8, couple this with the fact he is only dribbled past 0.5 times per 90 and you can see just how well the full-back controls the right flank.

Trent isn’t just defensively sound, he contributes very effectively going forward. The Liverpool native has contributed three assists in the Champions League this season, the highest in the side. The young full-back has shown moments of intelligence and brilliance in the competition, his quick and effective corner kick against Barcelona provided the go-ahead goal that saw the Reds progress into the final. Alexander-Arnold is also firing off one shot per game and 2.1 key passes per 90, which is the most of any player in his side. The England international has proven to be one of the key men for his side this campaign having contributed in some of the sides biggest and most decisive moments.

1. Sadio Mané:

Sadio Mané has quite easily been Liverpool’s most important attacker this season. Having notched 27 goals in all competitions this season as well as lifting the Premier League Golden Boot with his teammate Mohamed Salah, the Senegalese forward has proven a key man for the Reds in Europe.

Despite not matching last seasons ten goals scored in the Champions League last season, the former Southampton player has contributed five goals in this seasons campaign. Whilst it’s less than his previous season, he has had a hand in in some of Liverpool’s most important goals. In fact, Mané officially has the most away goals in the Champions league in Liverpool history.

Completing the joint-highest dribbles (2.2 per 90), he is also completing 1.3 key passes per 90 – more than Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, he is fouled more than anyone else in the side (twice per 90). The forward is also showing tremendous work ethic on his flank with 1.6 tackles per 90 – which is also more than the one that Salah and Firmino contribute. Mané’s contributions to Liverpool this season have been incredible, often in the Premier League and the Champions League he has put forth huge contributions which makes him perhaps the most key part of Klopp’s hopes of winning his very first major cup final.

[/columns] [/columns]

About Author

Birmingham based European football fan!

Comments are closed.