Match thread: Liverpool vs Real Madrid

Привіт товариші! (Hello comrades!)

Well I thought I'd have a go at the match thread, I fear I won't get close to doing it justice but thought perhaps it would be nice when Jock gets home from work this evening, for him to be able to put his feet up, open a cold one and get straight on with some pre-match enjoyment.

That said, if you had something in the pipeline already Jock please feel free to edit it into this article or post yours still and it can supersede my ramblings and whilst I mention you, I would also like to pass on everyone's extreme gratitude for all your continued hard work and excellent writings for this new home of ours - top bombing sir and the same goes to everyone else who has written articles, worked behind the scenes and just posted in general. A really great fledgling site and I can only see it going from strength to strength.

So then fellow fans, here we are, on the cusp of arguably, our biggest match in over a decade and I'm starting to think that spontaneous human combustion might actually be a real thing; trepidation, impatience and excitement all bubbling away under the surface in one delicious but barely containable mixture. I absolutely love it. It's what we Reds live for and what we do best.

My guess is that in the run up to tomorrow's final, many of us will have at some stage thought back past that last decade to 2005, Istanbul. Some kind of a night that was. Personally I was in a packed out pub stood on top of a table so as to see the big screen better and we did a whole lot of singing, crying, screaming, shouting, cheering and then celebrating - right the way through the small hours. A night spent with friends which I'll never forget and I can't wait for this forthcoming one to get under way, and am stoked to be spending it with everyone here whom I also consider friends, and of course we hope very much that our lovely Lady Liver Bird will be able to join us.

Istanbul is iconic, not just for Liverpool fans but right the way throughout world football and so too are many of the moments which that match brought us. It still makes me smile to think of our captain fantastic willing the crowd on and I smile too, whenever I see other players try and replicate it. Something which happens a fair bit and not just with LFC players. Also as I write this, I realise just how big an imprint that night has left - people may know I enjoy a bit of fishing, well whenever I've been sat lake side for hours of inaction and my rod suddenly twitches (no Bev;) the first thought I have and very often voice is 'hello' - born from commentator Rob Hawthorne's words of "hello, hello, here we go' 'Steven Gerrard puts a grain of doubt in the back of Milan minds and gives hope to all the many thousands of Liverpool fans..." Actually, whether it be verbally or just in thought, I often think of that moment and use the start of those words as a precursor to a not so good situation turning a corner.

It's not a stretch I don't think to call our performance that night inspirational. For as we proved then and have done on many other occasions, hope is sometimes all that we need and as per our most esteemed anthem, we always have plenty of it in our hearts and Real better believe we'll be bringing it to Kyiv by the truck load this Saturday.

Shortly we will take to the pitch, back at Europe's top footballing table and the game in Kyiv affords us the opportunity to create new magic moments, new memories and for our players to inspire once more - a truly salivating thought. How will the pages of footballing history read come Sunday morning? Will Bobby dazzle, will Mane and Mo be magnificent and will one or more of our team chip in with something so far out of left field that we all wonder if we're dreaming. A Georginio screamer from 30yds anyone?

I think we all know there's no way this match doesn't throw up a few double or even triple take moments. We have to acknowledge too though that Real have a quality squad of experienced winners who will no doubt look to exploit any weaknesses in some of our younger and less well versed players but, and it's a big J.Lo-esque shaped but, we haven't arrived here by accident, nor have we come just to take part. Yes we may be underdogs but that's exactly how we like it and having reached this final, perhaps for some a little unexpectedly, as Ian Rush said just the other day "now we're here, we might as well win it" Abso-bloomin-lutely.

Liverpool team news: Matip, Gomez and the Ox are all sadly out on a long term basis but other than that we have no new injury concerns and Lallana, Can and Milner have returned to training giving us some much needed midfield options. Our confirmed twenty four man squad is as follows:

Karius, Clyne, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Milner, Firmino, Salah, Henderson, Klavan, Moreno, Mane, Lallana, Mignolet, Can, Robertson, Ings, Solanke, Phillips, Jones, Ward, Woodburn, Camacho, Alexander-Arnold.

Real Madrid team news: Manager Zinedine Zidane has a fully fit squad to choose from and it seems his main decision will be picking who to play in attack with Ronaldo - both Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are in contention.

Kick off: 19.45 GMT

TV stations: BT Sport 2, FOX Sports, Sony Ten 2 India, beiN Sports Connect Indonesia, Antena 3, beiN Sports Spain, TSN 1;4;5.

Confirmed teams:

Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

Subs: Mignolet, Clyne, Klavan, Moreno, Lallana, Can, Solanke

Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema.

Subs: Casilla, Nacho, Bale, Theo, Vasquez, Asensio, Kovacic

*BT Sport are showing the game for free on multiple platforms. Coverage starts from 18.00GMT - click me for details*

So all that is left for me to do now is conclude this piece by shamelessly reposting a video from the previous thread and with it, utter the following three magic words: ALLEZ! ALLEZ! ALLEZ!



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