Liverpool and Real Madrid meet this Saturday (9:00 p.m.) in the Champions League final, the most anticipated game of the year. And Ancelotti and Klopp will take into account that the starting eleven will be as important as the players they contribute from the bench, in a match that could last more than 90 minutes.

Ancelotti’s big question will be if he chooses Fede Valverde or Rodrygo to occupy the right side, with the rest of the eleven quite clear. Talking about revulsive is talking about the Brazilian. The ’21’ has more than responded when the Italian coach has needed his services. Self-confidence, daring and increasingly logical in his game are the endorsements of the winger, who has gone little by little, and based on key performances in Europe, earning Ancelotti’s blessing.

All Madrid fans remember their match against City at the Bernabéu. Rodrygo jumped onto the pitch in the second half, and in minute 90 he became the ‘hero’ of the white miracle, converting two goals in just over 60 seconds. A night of confirmation since which he has chained five titles of the 18 that he has added in 2022. A fact that allows us to see the evolution that the Brazilian has experienced.

His competitor for the position will be Valverde, who seems to have taken the lead, due to his reliability and physical power, which allows him to cover large areas on the pitch. His presence in the eleven would reinforce a more compact 4-4-2 to protect himself from the ‘reds’ onslaught. In addition, the precedents against PSG, Chelsea and City lead to the conclusion that the Uruguayan will start, since he started in the three second legs, with a key Rodrygo in the final stretch of the matches.

Another offensive option will be Marco Asensio, who lost prominence from his start in the first leg of the round of 16 against PSG, the Whites’ worst game this season in Europe. His great shot from long range and greater control of the ball could be the perfect characteristics to unblock a game that looks bad for Real Madrid. Since the match against the Parisians, Asensio has not played 50 minutes in the Champions League. Hazard, who has played 27 minutes since February, will also want to have the umpteenth opportunity to contribute at this key moment.

With the non-negotiable trinomial formed by Casemiro, Kroos and Modric, Camavinga is postulated as the first replacement to provide legs and freshness in the second half. The Frenchman delivers every time he goes out on the field, thanks to his ability to drive and recover, acting as a pivotal midfielder in Real Madrid’s characteristic transitions of comebacks. In the second leg against City, he revolutionized the game, drowning out the ‘citizen’ midfield, and in his first year as a white man he played close to 1,800 minutes.

If the match calls for reinforcing the defensive aspect to defend an advantage, Ancelotti could opt for Lucas Vázquez to replace Carvajal in the right lane, who will start in Paris. Nacho, who with Alaba’s recovery and Ancelotti’s blind trust in Militao throughout the season, awaits his turn with the endorsement of a great end to the season. Even Marcelo could have minutes if the game asks for it to give joy to the left side.


At Liverpool, with far fewer options on the bench to revolutionize the match, Klopp could also recite his starting eleven on the run. The only doubt is that of the Spaniard Thiago Alcántara, who retired injured from the last game against Wolves in the Premier. If the Spaniard, key in the German’s scheme this year, does not finally recover, the Guinean Keita, who started in three of the six qualifying games, would take his place, losing in football and gaining in strength and pressure.

The experienced Milner and the young Jones are part of another three midfielders with alternatives to participate in the final, although their options are rather scarce, given the German’s confidence in Fabinho, Thiago and Henderson. On the defensive side, with Konaté as the starter, Matip would be the only guaranteed trigger, to reinforce the defense if the match requires it or to gain height in possible lateral centers if the ‘reds’ need to come back.

In the attack, with the undeniable irruption of Luis Díaz, making Klopp fall in love with joy and dribbling, to accompany Mané and Salah. Waiting on the bench are Diogo Jota, relegated to the background due to the growth of the Colombian, and Firmino, protagonist in the 2018 kyiv final and now third option as ‘9’, although he maintains his scoring nose (5 goals in the Champions League).