The Champions League final is almost upon us and it is arguably the most difficult to call in years.
That’s not because it’s too particularly well-matched teams, or that there’s any mystery involved – quite the opposite really.
Liverpool and Real Madrid have both proven themselves to be prone to error this season while simultaneously looking unstoppable in attack.
Liverpool’s 5-0 demolition of AS Roma in the semi-final was turned into a far less comfortable 5-2 in no time at all, with Liverpool eventually qualifying for the final 7-6 – not quite as emphatic as the five-goal lead once looked.
Real, however, didn’t look much better in the quarter-finals when their 3-0 away lead from the first leg resulted in a last-minute penalty in the second leg to see them past Juventus.
It means that Saturday’s final could be virtually any score other than 0-0 – either team could win by four and no one would be too surprised.
Both Liverpool and Real will search for ways to make that team them, of course, with the Reds hoping to find a similar defensive defect to the one Roma presented them at Anfield.
And they may have found it.
When playing, the Brazilian has seen 25% of the team’s goals go down his side, a solid amount for a team that was played with a narrow formation under Zidane.
Defensively, however, it’s another story.
A staggering 50% of the goals Real concede have come down their left flank this year. When put into perspective, that figure was just 23% in Zidane’s first season.
The team leak goals pretty significantly through Marcelo who, while regarded as possibly the best left-back on the planet, has always had real questions over his defensive output.
The statistics are even more noteworthy when you consider who he’s responsible for on Saturday; Mohamed Salah will line up against Marcelo and, after seeing the stats, will surely feel confident that he can add to his already incredible goal haul this season.
Liverpool will be searching for every advantage possible – there’s no way Jurgen Klopp isn’t smiling at this one.