However, things could be different for the Reds, who have grown since then and boast a very flattering score in our danger ratings.
Liverpool and Real Madrid will meet again in the Champions League final on Saturday
LIVERPOOL MANAGER: JURGEN KLOPP 9/10
The Liverpool players have been labeled “mental monsters” and that starts at the top with Klopp. Win tonight and there will be a lot of caresses. I’m glad he signed an extension to stay in the Premier League.
ALISSON BECKER 9/10
He kept clean sheets in the Champions League, FA Cup and Club World Cup finals. A sweeper who is as good as anyone in one-on-one situations, so even if Madrid go behind Liverpool’s high line, they have their work cut out for them to win.
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD 8.5 / 10
The average touchdown per game played by any Champions League player this season is his influence. But Wolves went back to Liverpool last Sunday aiming for the space these flying backs leave. The worry is that Vinicius Junior will reveal that too.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s fight with Vinicius Jr. could be the key to victory on Saturday
JOEL MATIP 8/10
Van Dijk is starting, but whether Ibrahima Konate or Matip partners the Dutchman is in debate. I would opt for Matip, an unsung hero this season. He looked confident and on fire.
VIRGIL VAN DIJK 9/10
He was not on the roster but Van Dijk is my Player of the Year. Liverpool are a completely different team with him in their defense. He is the best center back in the world and being able to is a massive boost.
ANDY ROBERTSON 8.5 / 10
Robertson is on the left of Liverpool, which Alexander-Arnold is on the right. But again, there is a vulnerability that comes with his marauding runs. Liverpool’s strength can also be weak, as Wolves have shown. This could be where this final is won and lost.
JORDAN HENDERSON 8/10
Henderson has played in 56 of Liverpool’s 62 games this season – most of all. The captain gives them driving and guidance and has the legs and intelligence to spot when he has to cover for Alexander-Arnold.
Jordan Henderson was pictured with Jurgen Klopp after winning the 2019 Champions League
FABINHO 8.5 / 10
He has not played since May 10 due to a hamstring problem, but it would be great for Liverpool if he is able to start as expected. Defensive code gives the team security in midfield with the way he spots the danger and turns it off.
THIAGO ALCANTARA 8.5 / 10
Oh, how Real would hate it if he won his race to be capable, which seems to be the case. Ancelotti managed him at Bayern. He knows full well that Thiago can present problems with his peak passing and creativity.
MOHAMED SALAH 9/10
We all know what happened in the 2018 final – the injury caused by Sergio Ramos. Salah now has the ultimate chance for revenge on Real. By his standards, he had a dip in shape, but Salah remains a man capable of magic.
Mohammed Salah could prove the difference as he seeks revenge after the 2018 final
SADIO MANE 9/10
I liked to see Mane turn out to be a fake nine. He is capable of breaking back, timing his runs to perfection, joining a game and, of course, scoring goals. He loves big games and needs ruthlessness tonight.
LUIS DIAZ 9/10
The best new addition to the Premier League. In four months, he has his hands on the Karabao Cup and FA Cup. Now he wants the Champions League. His dynamism and straightforwardness are dangerous and he is able to have Dani Carvajal on toast.
PLENA TEAMRANSO 95/110
Luis Diaz has been a revelation since joining Liverpool in January – and is likely to start the final
REAL MADRID MANAGER: CARLO ANCELOTTI 9/10
To think he managed Everton a year ago! He showed his genealogy of the Champions League. This isn’t the best Madrid side we’ve seen, but that smart cookie Ancelotti has found a way to get them here.
THIBAUT COURTOIS 8.5 / 10
He has made the most saves in the Champions League this season. Nice statistic for him but critical for Madrid. It means the defense is not protecting him properly. Top shot plug but Alisson is better with his feet.
DANI CARVAJAL 7.5 / 10
Right back that stands between Diaz and the Madrid goal. The accomplished Carvajal will hope his right side will help him fall with Robertson, as it would be difficult to handle him and Diaz.
Dani Carvajal has been an integral part of the Madrid side during their success in the last decade
EDER MILITAO 7.5 / 10
The form of Militao has been criticized in Spain but you don’t appear so many times in Madrid defense without having something about you. He is expected to partner Antonio Rudiger next season, loves a block and will put his body on the line.
DAVID ALABA 8/10
Alaba is back in training and that is a boost for Madrid. He was there, he did it, he won it. Liverpool would have preferred to see this versatile defender watching from the stands but any rust risks risking being exposed.
FERLAND MENDY 8/10
You may remember Mendy’s goal line removal to stop Manchester City’s Jack Grealish from scoring in the semi-finals. That was just as good as a goal, effectively keeping Madrid in the Champions League. He is aggressive but Salah will like his chances.
LUKA MODRIC 9/10
The little artist is looking for his fifth crown of the Champions League. He is capable of magic. Like that first cross for Benzema to win in the quarter-finals first leg at Chelsea, or that off-the-foot help for Rodrygo in the second leg. Beware, Liverpool.
Glory d’Or winner Luka Modric could prove to be the difference against Liverpool
CASEMIRO 8.5 / 10
Lucky to be in this final as he could be sent against Manchester City for hacking Kevin De Bruyne and dragging back Phil Foden. A master of dark arts who loves to make sure an opponent wakes up with a bruise the next morning.
TONI KROOS 8.5 / 10
Starting for Liverpool in midfield, the concern is that Kroos and Modric will make pigs in the middle of them. Kroos is a good technician who has appeared with a stupid passing accuracy of 94 percent in the Champions League this season.
FEDERICO VALVERDE 8/10
Do you play Valverde or Rodrygo? Given the latter’s semi-final feats with those two late goals against Manchester City, he would love to start. But Rodrygo may be the superstar again. Ancelotti is a fan of the tireless and trustworthy Valverde.
KARIM BENZEMA 9.5 / 10
The top scorer in the Champions League this season with 15 goals. As Chelsea and City have discovered, you can’t give this guy an inch. A master of the movement, a ruthless midfielder, a first-class striker and the Royal Deal.
VINICIUS JUNIOR 9/10
Creator of most opportunities in this season’s contest. No wonder Benzema gravitates to the left rather than the right. He and Vinicius get along so well and that’s a concern for Liverpool.
PLENA TEAMRANSO 92/110
Karim Benzema will look to build on his 15 Champions League goals in this campaign