Liverpool and Real Madrid have combined to win four of the last six UEFA Champions League titles.
On Saturday, one of the two giants of European club football will hoist yet another Champions League trophy inside the Stade de France.
Real Madrid's last triumph on the continental stage came against Liverpool in the 2018 final. Liverpool won its last UCL crown the year after in an all-English final over Tottenham Hotspur.
Both clubs are looking to add to their respective title hauls this season. Liverpool won both domestic cup competitions in England and Real Madrid topped La Liga.
Liverpool comes into the final as the clear favorite according to the oddsmakers, but Real Madrid defied the odds throughout the European campaign to get to this point.
Real Madrid took down Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City to reach the final. Liverpool had a much easier route that featured wins over Inter Milan, Benfica and Villarreal.
UEFA Champions League Final Info
Date: Saturday, May 28
Start Time: 3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: CBSSports.com and Paramount Plus
Money Line (90 Minutes): Liverpool (+110; bet $100 to win $110); Real Madrid (+250); Draw (+265)
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (-135; bet $135 to win $100)
Real Madrid 2, Liverpool 1
The margins could be incredibly tight between Real Madrid and Liverpool.
There will be plenty of stars with experience in competition finals on the club and international levels on the pitch, starting with Karim Benzema and Mohamed Salah.
Benzema has been at his best throughout the knockout round for Real Madrid. He has netted two hat-tricks, one in the round-of-16 second leg against PSG and the other in the quarterfinal first leg versus Chelsea.
The French forward bagged four more goals after the consecutive three-goal performances. He will win the competition's Golden Boot award unless Salah finds a way to score eight goals in one night.
Benzema leads the Real Madrid forward line against a Liverpool defense that kept a single clean sheet in its last six games across all competitions.
Liverpool conceded first in a pressure-packed situation on the final day of the Premier League season before it rallied back to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers. Liverpool's title quest came up short because of Manchester City's second-half comeback against Aston Villa.
The Reds let in seven goals during the UCL knockout round, and six of those tallies came in the second leg of ties against Inter Milan, Benfica and Villarreal.
That is a worrying trend for the Reds with one of the best, if not the top, forwards in the world lining up against them.
Real Madrid will look to Vinicius Junior to create a handful of the chances for Benzema. The Brazilian is tied with Bayern Munich's Leroy Sane for the second-most assists in the UCL this season.
Vinicius needs one more helper to tie Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes on the top of the assist chart and two to take sole possession of the lead in that category. He produced half of those assists in the knockout round.
Liverpool's attacking statistics are a little more spread out compared to the top-heavy Real Madrid front line.
Salah has eight goals, while Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have five each. Luis Diaz, who was signed in January, scored in each of the last two rounds.
Diaz could be Liverpool's X-factor in the final third alongside Salah and Mane. A strong performance from the Colombian could give the Reds an edge in Paris.
Liverpool may have a tough time creating chances against a Real Madrid defense that allowed three goals in its last six games across all competitions.
Real Madrid enters Paris in the better defensive form, and if that translates to Saturday's final, it could limit the opportunities created by Salah, Mane and Diaz.
Real Madrid's other X-factor could be its ability to respond to going down in knockout play. Los Blancos recovered from first-leg deficits against PSG and Manchester City, both of whom had real chances to win the UCL this season.
Liverpool will put up a strong fight, but Real Madrid has been better than the other marquee clubs in the competition throughout the knockout round. That should show one more time with Benzema leading the charge inside France's national stadium.
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