Liverpool and Real Madrid collide in Saturday’s 2021/22 Champions League final. Managers in UCL Fantasy will be eager to finish strongly.
In a rematch of the 2018 Kiev final, Liverpool and Real Madrid meet in Paris for European football’s showpiece event.
Both finished top of their initial groups, although Los Blancos suffered an embarrassing home defeat to Moldovan side Sheriff. The two sides experienced bumps in their routes to the final. Jurgen Klopp’s men were always comfortable in winning the first legs but suffered a defeat and draw in the return clashes. Things got scary in Villarreal, as the hosts quickly scored twice to equalise on aggregate. However, a second-half comeback win brought huge relief to the red half of Merseyside.
As for Real, each round brought incredible drama. Firstly, they needed a Karim Benzema hat-trick to overcome Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-0 aggregate lead and then nearly threw away another one against Chelsea. The Blues went to the Bernabeu and matched their 3-1 win. It took extra time and a Benzema goal to scrape through.
The first semi-final between Real and Man City was an all-time classic, although the English side should have won by more. It looked to be fine, though, as they entered stoppage time in the second leg with a 5-3 advantage. Cue some of the most extraordinary minutes we’ve seen in recent years, as Rodrygo’s quick-fire brace took it to extra time. One Benzema penalty later and they’d pulled off a miracle.
So it feels like fate is on the side of the competition’s 13-time winners. Yet British bookmakers still mark Liverpool as the favourites this time.
Here are some of the best player to select in your UCL Fantasy squad.
Karim Benzema (€10.8m)
Sitting on 100 points, the 34-year-old is having another wonderful season. 27 league goals alongside a remarkable 15 goals in just 11 Champions League games.
His pair of knockout stage hat-tricks and extra time winners showcase how the Real Madrid talisman excels on the big occasion. Furthermore, he scored the opening goal when these sides met in 2018’s final.
Mohamed Salah (€11.2m)
As with the Premier League, Mo Salah’s explosive start to this Champions League campaign has slowed down in recent times. Whilst 15 goals and ten assists arrived in his first 17 domestic games, he netted seven times in the group stage.
Only one has been scored in the six subsequent knockout games but he’ll be confident of adding to his goal from 2019’s final against Spurs. It certainly seems like his recent injury worry is now gone.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (€7.0m)
The attacking right-back has only played eight of Liverpool’s 12 games up to now but, in a Fantasy game where only two teams remain, it would be strange to go without Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Vinicius Junior (€9.2m)
17 La Liga goals and 13 assists have arrived for the 21-year-old Brazilian. In the Champions League, he has shined as a provider – setting up seven goals and notching three of his own.
Sadio Mane (€10.6m)
Taking over the goal-scoring duties during Liverpool’s knockout matches, Sadio Mane has revealed he will announce his future after this match. Not only did he score in both semi-finals against Villarreal, Mane equalised against Real Madrid in the 2018 final.