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Champions League final: Jamie Carragher confident Liverpool will beat Real Madrid but Gary Neville disagrees

Jamie Carragher says he is "confident" that Liverpool will beat Real Madrid in Saturday’s Champions League final as the Spanish side have "carried a lot of luck" to be in the showpiece event in Paris.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are looking for their third trophy of the season after claiming the FA and Carabao Cups earlier in the campaign.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Real – who are 13-times winners of the competition – will pose a difficult task having knocked out Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain on the way to the final. But Carragher believes Los Blancos had a lot of luck in those knockout victories, which saw the Spanish giants come from behind to win those ties.

Carragher told Sky Bet’s The Overlap podcast: "I’ve watched Real Madrid in the Champions League this season and they’ve lost more games in the Champions League than Liverpool have lost all season in all competitions.

"Real Madrid are a very good team but they’re not as good as Man City and I don’t think they’re as good as Chelsea – even though they beat both of them.

"You can spin it both ways with the spirit, the winning, the coming back, but they’ve carried a lot of luck in those games, which you need. If you win every game in the last minute coming from behind, if you’re that good a team you don’t get yourself in that position all the time.

"Man City should have battered them, they should have won [their semi-final first leg ] 6-2 at home – and then they’re 3-0 down at home to Chelsea.

"Of course, Real can win – it’s a one-off game. I just think if City or Liverpool were playing Real Madrid in a one-off game, having their team and playing near their best, they’d win the game. I’m confident."

Nev: Real’s midfield could overpower Liverpool

Fellow Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes Klopp’s men will fall short on Saturday night, as Ancelotti’s midfield options for Real will be too much for the Merseyside club.

The Real boss is likely to play Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos in this weekend’s final, with Federico Valverde supporting from a wider role and Eduardo Camavinga likely to come off the bench.

"I don’t think Liverpool will win the European Cup," Neville said on The Overlap podcast. "I’ve thought a lot about [the final in] Paris and I’ve thought about Real Madrid and why they’ve won their games, why they keep coming back.

"I thought back to 1999 and how we kept coming back in games and winning late on. It was our midfield of [Roy] Keane, [Nicky] Butt, [Paul] Scholes, [Ryan] Giggs and [David] Beckham. They were absolutely phenomenal, beyond any level of what I’ve ever seen.

"I look at Real Madrid’s midfield in Casemiro, Kroos, Modric – plus the two that come in late with Valverde and Camavinga – those five players drive them right from the first minute and right to the end. And Carlo Ancelotti interferes with them until the very end.

"I think Liverpool’s midfield is their weak point and in the last 15 minutes that midfield for Real Madrid – the five of them combined – will see them win the game on Saturday."

Real Madrid – lucky or plucky?

Is Jamie Carragher right? Were Real Madrid lucky to beat Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Chelsea? Or is there something more to Carlo Ancelotti’s side appearing in this Saturday’s Champions League final?

The pattern of those victories – particularly in the second legs at the Santiago Bernabeu – have been similar. Real started the return fixtures poorly, conceded first, watched their opponents miss a host of chances to seal their respective progressions at Los Blancos’ expense, before Karim Benzema led the comeback charge.

Follow this link to see Sky Sports’ analysis of Real’s run to the Champions League final.



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