In one of the most anticipated match-ups for the final of this season’s UEFA Champions League, Liverpool and Real Madrid get ready to take on each other in what could be a battle of wits for the players, alongside a tactical battle for the managers, whereas a battle of bragging and passion for the fans.
Parc de Princes, Paris, will be covered in Red & White. The history of the fixture makes it ever so exciting, but this is much more different compared to any time they had faced each other, before, in the past.
As much as we are regarding the 2 sides as a whole, ready to go for the trophy, we have to also look at the individual brilliance in each of the 2 sides coming up face to face against each other in the final.
In this series of articles, we will go in-depth with 3 of the most anticipated player battles from the final. And we will look at how each of the individual battles can pan out over the course of the game.
TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (LIVERPOOL) VS VINICIUS Jr. (REAL MADRID)
Coming up against Liverpool’s assist machine – Trent Alexander Arnold – it could turn out to be a great clash between the two players. Meanwhile, Trent has proved against all the criticisms this season, that he can for sure defend as well as he can attack. His stats are crazy too, for someone who makes constant running shifts up and down the right side for Klopp’s side.
At the time when Trent made it into the Liverpool side, he was just a 17-year-old. He is revolutionising the modern perception of both of the fullbacks, alongside his Scottish Liverpool teammate in Andrew Robertson. The two have been majorly involved in setting up the goals for their attacking teammates to score, in the Klopp era.
Trent, specifically, has outshone everyone in his vision for making those successful passes in between the lines for someone like Mane, Jota, and now Diaz, to latch on to it and score. However, he has been criticised for leaving the right flank of Liverpool’s defence vulnerable more often than not- trying to trackback while being involved in the attack.
But, it seems that Trent has worked a lot to improve that part of his game, and the stats below are proof to that.
Trent’s season in numbers
The English fullback has assisted a mammoth 19 goals across all competitions and has even contributed for the Reds by chipping in 2 goals, in 46 games in total that he has played for his side. Considering his on-field positioning, and where he functions, those stats are beyond amazing.
Meanwhile, in the UCL he has played 8 games and has assisted 4 goals in total. That is one in every other game!
Now coming to the defensive stats, the one you will be surprised to see because of the improvement he has shown and his hardwork on the training ground (in the UCL). Trent has touched the ball a total of 106 times, that is the average per UCL game he has played. He has created 7 big chances in total, alongside at least 3 key passes per game.
He has also averaged 2 tackles per game and has an average interception of 2 per game. Trent has also upped himself in those, key, 1-v-1 situations- where the English full-back has won 60% of the total duels. (all the stats are by sofascore)
The 21-year-old Brazilian sensation and Real Madrid’s one of the key players of the season, Vinicius Junior; will surely hope that he can prove to be a crucial asset for Real Madrid in the Champions League final against Liverpool, for the final time this season.
Although the attacking left-winger was not able to showcase his skill set up until the last season, he has surely turned up his game this season around. He has put the pedal on the gas, notching up to the 6th gear and moving upwards, leaving everyone in awe. This season has already become a defining season for the young Brazilian International player.
Vinicius aka Vini, has got all the required skillset to become a winger in this modern era of the game. He has got the pace to beat his markers in a counterattack; a Brazilian flare to go beyond his marker in a 1-v-1 situation; and finally, he has an A-quality finishing skill to beat the keepers from the tightest of angles. Given, that he will be up against his national teammate in Alisson Becker, Vinicius must make the most of the opportunities that he might get in the final third- considering how good Alisson has been in goal for the Reds this season, saving them on multiple occasions.
Vinicius Junior’s season in numbers
Meanwhile, the 21-year-old Real Madrid star has already gathered a mammoth G/A for the season. In 51 games across all the competitions in total, Vinicius has scored 20 goals and has assisted another 21 for his teammates. He has contributed 41 goals already this season, with the Champions League final yet to play. It is outrageous!
Even in the Champions League, he has been terrific, so far, this season! The Brazilian youngster has contributed 10 goals in 12 games in total, that his side has featured in up to the final’s mark- he has started in all 12/12 UCL games this season, for Madrid.
Vinicius is a complete winger at such a young age, and the following stats from sofascore just proves that: He has 7 assists, with a passing accuracy of overall 83% per game. Meanwhile, he has a 90% passing accuracy in his own half, alongside the 80% in the opposition’s half showing that he does track back whenever the situation demands the same from him. Along with that, he has created 5 big chances in the UCL so far, this season. And, he has averaged over 3 key passes pulled off this season, in the European Competition.
Overall, it will surely be the highlight of the game. As, when these two sides faced each other the last time around- Vinicius posed some threats for the right-back. It was another year, and Trent was not at his best as he is now. But again, quite a lot has changed0- where Trent has improved massively, Vinicius has turned out to be an unexpected beast this season.