Real Madrid have spent the majority of May preparing for their biggest game of the season as they take on Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League Final on May 28. No one believed that they could make it this far but they did against all odds, beating Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City en route. While doing so, they were also able to defy all expectations as they were crowned champions of LaLiga with four games to spare. No matter how you look at it, this season as been a success for Real Madrid but then you remember that you’re talking about Real Madrid. They made it to the final. Now, they have to win. It doesn’t matter what was expected, there are new expectations now.
But they play Liverpool, who arguably have the most well-built team in football right now. Jurgen Klopp has been able to turn this side into a machine and make them one of the most feared sides in Europe. That doesn’t mean they aren’t beatable, but it will be difficult. So what can we predict when the two European giants meet in just over a week?
VAR takes center stage
This isn’t going to be a portion where we speak about potential dirty fouls or referee bias and whatnot. You do not need all of that for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to take center stage though. This will be a game where the winning team will end up being victorious based on very, very small margins. Who took advantage of the opposition slipping? Who made the most of the poor pass? Who caught which player out of position? So many things can happen. VAR will be integral for a lot of it.
When you have Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah on one end trying to get into the box while Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema will be doing the same on the opposite side. There is bound to be tackles and possible penalties. VAR will have to get things right. The losing team won’t want to look back and blame any refereeing mishaps on their loss. On the other side of the coin, the winning team will want to win without any refereeing ‘assistance’. VAR was brought in to eliminate human error as much as possible with penalties and red cards and that’s what it should be used for on matchday.