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Champions League Final 2022: Liverpool vs Real Madrid: David James predicts Red rising in Paris

David James

Bengaluru, May 24: Liverpool came agonisingly close to annexing the Premier League crown from Manchester City, before the latter held on to win the title during a drama-filled last day.

But ex-Reds goalkeepr David James, believes that result should in no way act as a setback as they are poised to take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Saturday (May 28).

If anything, the Englishman was banking on the positives.

Premier League: Manchester City retain title, Tottenham clinch 4th spot, Arsenal misses out, Burnley relegatedPremier League: Manchester City retain title, Tottenham clinch 4th spot, Arsenal misses out, Burnley relegated

"See the talk of Liverpool winning a quadruple was kind of ubiquitously used in commentaries, punditries and even even when questions were asked. Despite the last day's drama, Manchester City was always in charge, when it came to Premier League and it was their title to loose.

"Liverpool were never in the race for a quadruple. You should think about the positives. They just want to win the game of football. They did everything they could.

UEFA Champions League: David James picks his favourites for title: Check out who!UEFA Champions League: David James picks his favourites for title: Check out who!

"If you look at their record in the past 10 matches or so, you must've noticed that (barring the Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur) , they came back fighting after trailing and ended up winning. They should be taking that confidence into the Champions League final," James told a select group of journalists in a virtual media interaction organised by the Sony Sports Network, who have the exclusive broadcast rights of Champions League final in India.

James, who is one of the panelists on Sony, believes the Liverpool vs Real Madrid final is the best thing to have happened for European football.

"The Champions League final is being fought by two teams who're currently the best in Europe, if not in the world. Liverpool has had an incredible season so far. They've won the League Cup, FA Cup, finished second in Premier League with 90+ points and would definitely be keen to add Europe's premier club competition silverware to their kitty.

Real Madrid too are in the prime form and they also would be fancying their chances," he added.

The Champions League final will be held at Stade de France Saint-Denis in Paris. The last time two sides met in Champions final, was at 2018 in Kiev, with Real Madrid winning it 3-1.

James pointed out one key factor which could decide the outcome of 2022 final.

David James

"Both teams are in good form. Confidence obviously is going to the key factor in the final in Paris - the confidence not to make a mistake. The level of resilience and self belief. Even if the scoreline is 0-0 after 75 minutes, these are two teams who can turn it around in the last 15 minutes.

"Real Madrid will always believe that they can do it, so too will Liverpool. It should be a good final."

Asked to pick his favourite, James said: "Obviously, I'm slightly biased towards Liverpool. As the cliche goes, you play the game and not the occasion. But at the end of the day a trophy is there to be won. If Liverpool can do it, it'll be incredible.

"Just like Ole Gunnar Solksjaer scoring that late winner for Manchester United against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final which helped Sir Alex Ferguson's side achieve a treble, I hope something similar happens for Liverpool this time.

"The fans will relish this contest for sure. They'll marvel at the highest level of football being played in the final of the Europe's premier club competition," added James, who will be carrying a painting done by himself on the two coaches - Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti.

"I hope to get it signed by the big two," James signed off.

Where to watch

Watch UEFA Champions League 2021-22 Final LIVE on SONY TEN 2 (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels on Sunday, May 29, at 12:30 am IST.

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Story first published: Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 15:41 [IST]
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