As the analyses and hot takes on the Champions League final trickle through, one of the key battles that every pundit, fan and follower seems to be picking up on is Vinicius Junior against Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The 23-year-old defender has been pointed to by many as the weak point in Liverpool’s defence, while Vinicius is the prominent attacking force in this Real Madrid side, Karim Benzema aside.
Alexander-Arnold was asked about the prospect in his pre-match interview, with Mundo Deportivo publishing his response.
“I’m looking forward to facing Vinicius.”
“Everyone wants to play against the best and he is the best at the moment. He’s demonstrated that with goals and assists. Also with his runs. Tomorrow we are going to have to work in a group in order to counteract his strengths.”
It’s worth remembering that Vinicius was able to score a brace up against Alexander-Arnold last season in the Champions League quarter-final, at a time before the Brazilian had taken the next step in his development.
The Liverpool defender’s comments perhaps point to the Jurgen Klopp’s response though. In the Champions League matches in which Vinicius has been quieter, Paris Saint-Germain cut off the supply line to Vinicius by employing Danilo as a man-marker. It’s worth wondering whether Klopp would consider doing something similar with Fabinho or Ibrahima Konate.