After almost a month of build-up for Real Madrid, the Champions League final has finally arrived.
Carlo Ancelotti has had the privilege of resting and preparing his team for the final for nearly four weeks, having already won the league when they squeezed past Manchester City in the Champions League semi-finals.
As a result, he arrives with an almost entirely fit squad. There are doubts about the fitness of Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale, but the former is likely to be fit at least. The great doubt has been David Alaba, who hasn’t played since the the first leg against City, but has been training since Tuesday. According to Sport, he’s expected to start.
The big question, as it has been all season, is the third forward or fourth midfielder. Rodrygo Goes has been in scintillating form in European competition, but Ancelotti his expected to opt for Fede Valverde as the solid option and extra body in the middle of the park.
Opposite him won’t be Thiago Alcantara according to their calculations. The Spaniard picked up an injury last weekend and is not expected to start due to his recovery, with Naby Keita replacing him in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Doubts about the fitness of Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho have been dismissed both are expected to begin. Meanwhile Luis Diaz is thought to be the choice up front ahead of Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.
The intriguing battle that many are pointing to is Vinicius Junior against Trent Alexander-Arnold. That battle led to two goals for the Brazilian during their meeting last season and shutting Vinicius down is key to Liverpool’s hopes of victory.