2017/18 Champions League season has been one of the best we have witnessed in recent season with the number of goals and thrilling matches on offer. Liverpool have indeed played a huge part in reminding the younger football fans what European Nights used to be when Liverpool and Anfield were at their very best. In Mohamed Salah, The Reds have once again found a talisman who is scoring for fun and winning them matches single-handedly. Salah’s exploits have taken Liverpool to the 2017/18 Champions League Final where they will face Champions League’s serial winners Real Madrid. In a generation where retaining, the Champions League was seen as impossible, Los Blancos will be playing their 4th final in 5 seasons and hoping to win their 3rd consecutive Champions League title. Safe to say, Real Madrid have dominated the Champions League like no other team in last 2-3 decades. Ahead of the mega showdown at 2017/18 Champions League Final, we take a look at the best possible Real Madrid vs Liverpool Combined XI featuring the fit and available players from the 2 talented squads, Spoiler Alert – Salah and Ronaldo do make this Real Madrid vs Liverpool Combined XI.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool Combined XI
Goalkeeper – Loris Karius (Liverpool)
The number of people asking for Loris Karius’ head have drastically gone down after the Liverpool goalkeeper has picked up his game in last 2-3 months and has been a rock at the back for Jurgen Klopp’s team. Karius has kept 6 clean sheets this season (Most in Champions League) and has made 22 saves in the process. Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas has managed only 2 saves from his 10 Champions League games this season and has managed only 2 clean sheets. Apart from the number, solely on the improvement basis, Loris Karius deserves a place in our Real Madrid vs Liverpool combined XI ahead of the 2017/18 Champions League Final.
Central Defenders – Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)
Central defenders will play a massive part for their teams in becoming the kings of Europe and Liverpool vs Real Madrid have a plethora of talent when it comes to central defensive duties. One of the biggest reasons for Liverpool’s improved performance in the second half of 2017/18 season was signing Virgil Van Dijk in January from Southampton. Van Dijk find himself along with Real Madrid’s warrior and savior Sergio Ramos to complete the central defensive pairing of our Liverpool vs Real Madrid Combined XI ahead of the 2017/18 Champions League final. Imagine them two playing on the same team, Scary!
Full-backs – Marcelo (Real Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)
Liverpool’s young full-backs Andre Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold miss out on our Real Madrid vs Liverpool combined XI purely because Real Madrid have the best full-back pairing in European Football. Marcelo has been a big-game player in last few seasons, and Carvajal offers a lot going forward and yet rarely gets found out while defending. Robertson played only 4 Champions League matches this season and his minutes are almost half of Marcelo and Carvajal. Speaking of numbers, Carvajal created 10 chances (Arnold 5), completed 353 passes (Arnold 329), won 14 tackles (Arnold 10), and won 7 aerial duels (Arnold 2) to win a place in the Real Madrid vs Liverpool combined XI. Add to that, Trent Alexander-Arnold looked beyond nervous in the 2 games against AS Roma and almost cost his team a place in the 2017/18 Champions League Final.
Central Midfielders – Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Casemiro (Real Madrid), James Milner (Liverpool)
Given the insane combined squad strength of Real Madrid and Liverpool, there were always few big names who would have been left out of our Real Madrid vs Liverpool combined XI and when it comes to the midfielders, the big casualty is Luka Modric. Toni Kroos and Casemiro are automatic picks for Real Madrid vs Liverpool combined as there is no better possession keeper than Kroos and Casemiro is a master of breaking opposition’s defense and turn into an attack for his own team. As for the third midfielder in our Real Madrid vs Liverpool combined XI, its James Milner who has shattered all kinds of record in the 2017/18 Champions League season. Milner has 8 assists to his name this season (most by any player in a single Champions League campaign) and has been the mainstay for Liverpool’s midfield. Milner is often the utility man for Jurgen Klopp where the Liverpool manager has used him in full-back positions as well, however, Milner has found a consistent run in the Liverpool’s midfield and has delivered some match-winning performances.
Forwards – Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah have been the two most in-form forward players in the 2017/18 Champions League season and it is hardly a surprise to see them feature in our Real Madrid vs Liverpool combined XI. However, there could not have been a more deserving player to partner with them to complete the forward line of Liverpool vs Real Madrid Combined XI than Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian has 10 goals, 6 assists, 20 chances created and surprisingly 15 successful tackles to his name in Champions League this season. Combining Ronaldo, Salah, and Firmino this season in Champions League, the trio has managed 35 goals, 13 assists, 57 chances created, 148 attempted shots (74 alone by Ronaldo), and 68 successful dribbles between them in 2017/18 Champions League season.