Paul Merson has explained why he thinks Liverpool will prove too strong for Real Madrid in the Champions League final – and has cast his thoughts on how many trophies the Reds will win this season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are through to a third Champions League final in five seasons, having overcome a pretty stiff test of nerves in midweek. That’s after seeing a 2-0 lead wiped out by a resurgent Villarreal side, though Luis Diaz stepped off the bench to save the Reds.
That 3-2 win sealed a 5-2 aggregate triumph and sets up Mohamed Salah to get his shot at redemption. to that end, the Egyptian King has sent Los Blancos a fierce message ahead of their Paris showdown.
Now Merson reckons Liverpool, and Salah, will prove too strong for Carlo Ancelotti’s troops. They have outwitted Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City to reach the final. As such, some reckon the manner of those dramatic triumphs means their names are on the cup.
However, Merson reckons Liverpool will have won the famous trophy for a seventh time. He also reckons City’s shock loss to Real Madrid will also have a catastrophic effect on the Premier League title race.
“The quadruple is well and truly on for Liverpool now because I don’t know how Manchester City pick themselves up after this week’s disaster,” Merson told the Daily Star.
“What happened to City against Real Madrid, I’ve never seen anything like it. They were as comfortable as it gets and then… wow. Rattle someone sometimes and they break. That’s what happened to City. They had the Champions League final in their hands and threw it away.
“This affects them enormously now. I don’t know how they recover against Newcastle this weekend. And Liverpool play first at home to Tottenham so they have the chance to crank up the pressure even more. Liverpool will beat Real Madrid. They won’t mess about. They will have too much for them in the Champions League final.”
Merson fears Chelsea may dent quadruple bid
Liverpoolof course, also have the FA Cup final next weekend and could land part two of their historic quadruple bid at Wembley.
And Merson now reckons Thomas Tuchel’s side present the biggest threat to Liverpool’s bid to claim all four trophies.
“Chelsea in the FA Cup final is the hardest game for them in my opinion. The last three times they’ve played each other the game’s ended in a draw. And let’s face it, Chelsea should have won the Carabao Cup Final. They were the better team.
“But both those finals are winnable, and if City slip up this weekend the Premier League title is all but Liverpool’s.”
We will soon know if Merson’s predictions are right, but if anything, losing to Real Madrid will surely sharpen City’s minds.
Yes, that was a catastrophic loss given the circumstances, but facing Real Madrid is another level to Newcastle.
As such, it seems more likely Liverpool win three of the four trophies on offer, with perhaps the Premier League title the one to elude them.
Meanwhile, Klopp has named the six Liverpool teammates who have helped Luis Diaz settle in, but jokes: “I don’t know how they talk!“