Last Updated: 25/05/18 6:55pmJurgen Klopp and Zinedine Zidane go head-to-head on Saturday
Liverpool face holders Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kiev on Saturday, looking for their sixth triumph in the competition.
Before locking horns with his Real Madrid counterpart, Klopp has laughed off suggestions Zidane - who has an all-star team at his disposal - has limited tactical coaching knowledge.
"If a lot of people think Zinedine Zidane has not a lot of tactical knowledge and then people think the same about me that would be really funny," Klopp said.Liverpool's road to the final
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"The two managers in the Champions League final have no clue about tactics? What would that say about the game?
"For me, Zinedine Zidane is one of the best five players of all time in football. I'm longer in Liverpool than he is at Real Madrid and he can win the Champions League for a third time. That's never happened before.
"Unfortunately I have to accept that he is as brilliant as he was as a player."
Klopp has lost his last five finals, three with Borussia Dortmund before moving to Anfield in 2015, and two in his debut season with the Reds.Jurgen Klopp says Zinedine Zidane's unmatched Champions League record proves he is a brilliant manager. Jurgen Klopp says Zinedine Zidane's unmatched Champions League record proves he is a brilliant manager.
It's a record Zidane is keen to extend as he targets a "beautiful" third successive European crown.
Zidane said: "I've always been a good competitor, I like to compete and behind all that is a lot of hard work - not only on my part but also the players.
"If you like to compete and want to work hard you can achieve what we are doing. For me this is entirely normal.
"This is beautiful. This is my passion. To reach a final is not easy and, at the same time, we are delighted to be able to play another final."Pick your CL final Liverpool XI
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Klopp confirmed he had no new injuries concerns ahead of Liverpool's final training session in Kiev.
Long-term absentees Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), Joe Gomez (ankle) and Joel Matip (thigh) are not available but James Milner and Emre Can are available after overcoming injuries.Jurgen Klopp admits Real Madrid's added experience will make them more confident than Liverpool in the Champions league final. Jurgen Klopp admits Real Madrid's added experience will make them more confident than Liverpool in the Champions league final.
The Reds' starting line-up is likely to include only Roberto Firmino, Dejan Lovren and Milner from the team which lost the Europa League final two years ago - none of Klopp's squad has played in a Champions League final.
By contrast Ronaldo could become the fifth player to win five European Cups, while Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo and Isco are all looking for their fourth Champions League medals.
The 12-time winners will be at full-strength in Kiev, with the only issue for Zidane to address concerning who out of Bale, Benzema or Isco will partner Ronaldo in attack.Vinny O'Connor is in Kiev as Real Madrid train ahead of the Champions League against Liverpool. Vinny O'Connor is in Kiev as Real Madrid train ahead of the Champions League against Liverpool. Opta stats
- This is Real Madrid's 16th appearance in a European Cup/Champions League final, more than any other side in the history of the competition.
- Indeed, they've won it a record 12 times, losing only in 1962 (vs Benfica), 1964 (vs Inter) and 1981 (vs Liverpool).
- This is Liverpool's eighth European Cup/Champions League final, three more than any other English side.
- Liverpool have lost just two of their previous seven finals in the competition, vs Juventus in 1985 and their most recent one against Milan in 2007.
- Real Madrid are the first team since Juventus (1996-1998) to reach three consecutive European Cup/Champions League finals, while they could become the first team to win it three years in a row since Bayern Munich (1974-1976).
- This will be a repeat of the 1981 European Cup final, which Liverpool won 1-0 thanks to an Alan Kennedy goal. It will be the third final to have been played in the competition as both the European Cup and Champions League, following Ajax vs Juventus and Ajax vs Milan.
- That 1981 final was the last time Real Madrid lost the showpiece - they've won each of their six finals since then, all in the Champions League (1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016 and 2017).
- Spanish sides have won their last six major European finals against English sides (excluding Super Cups), most recently Sevilla beating Liverpool in the 2016 Europa League. However, Liverpool were the last English side to beat a Spanish side in a final, triumphing 5-4 over Alaves in the 2001 UEFA Cup.
Phil Thompson: "You can suggest that both sides' defences aren't the best, but I think ours is a little better now, especially in the full-back areas. I know that they have the big names, but I think ours are more capable defensively."
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Charlie Nicholas: I don't think the experience will count against Liverpool massively. I can see them sitting in initially, feeling their way into the game. I can see the energy and drive of James Milner and Jordan Henderson really stifling Real Madrid's midfield, just like Bayern, although they failed to take their chances."
Charlie predicts: Liverpool to win, Mane to score first, Ramos to be booked, 5+ corners each
Matt Le Tissier: "Liverpool's front three can cause Real Madrid plenty of problems. As good as Marcelo is going forward, he's not great on the back foot, and I think Liverpool can exploit that."
Le Tiss predicts: Liverpool to win, both team to score, Firmino, Salah and Mane all to score
Paul Merson: "Both teams will open up and Liverpool must think if they have a go they will score goals. However, I just think Real Madrid turn up on the big occasions. We were talking about them last season when they were playing badly and just turned up in the final against Juventus and won 4-1.
Merse predicts: Real Madrid to win 3-2 and Benzema to score firstFantasy Six-a-Side
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Last Updated: 25/05/18 7:04pmJurgen Klopp admits Real Madrid's Champions League final experience will make them more confident than Liverpool Jurgen Klopp admits Real Madrid's Champions League final experience will make them more confident than Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp has warned Real Madrid that their experience of playing in Champions League finals will only take them so far on Saturday.
Real are bidding to win the Champions League for the third successive year and Klopp admits that may give them a psychological edge prior to kick-off.
However, the German also pointed out that the teams have not met competitively during that period and Liverpool's own record in Europe is not to be sniffed at as they chase a sixth crown.
"Experience is very important and I'm pretty sure that in the seconds before the game Real will be more confident than we are," he said.Klopp says Zinedine Zidane's unmatched Champions League record proves he is a brilliant manager Klopp says Zinedine Zidane's unmatched Champions League record proves he is a brilliant manager
"But it's not a problem because the game doesn't end in that second, it only starts.
"We have had two weeks to prepare and everything is clear. We've analysed Real Madrid playing against different teams and thought, 'wow they are really strong', but they have never played us.
"We are Liverpool. Not only are we a really good football team, it's in the club's DNA to go for the big things.We've analysed Real Madrid playing against different teams and thought, 'wow they are really strong', but they have never played us.
"Nobody expected us to be here but we are because we are Liverpool. We had the most exceptional run to the final, scoring the most goals.
"The experience they have is a big advantage, 100 per cent, but in the game it doesn't help all the time. We have to make it as difficult as possible for them.
"We cannot try to fight on their level but tactics in football are there to bring a better opponent to your level. When they're on your level you can beat them."Klopp and Zidane go head to head in Kiev
Klopp pits his wits against Zinedine Zidane for the first time in Kiev and says the Frenchman's record of three successive final appearances proves he is a quality manager.
"If people think Zinedine Zidane has not a lot of knowledge in tactics… well people say the same about me," he said. "Two coaches in the final who have no clue about tactics - what would that say about the game!Klopp speaks to his players during training in Kiev on Friday
"Zidane is one of the best five players of all time. I'm longer at Liverpool than he has been manager of Real Madrid and he is trying to win his third Champions League. That has never happened before in a manager's career. He is brilliant, like he was as a player.
"This group of players work like a clock from Switzerland. I saw his team playing a lot of times and it's fantastic football, which is organised when it needs to be but there can also be chaos."Klopp says defeat to Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League final when he was at Borussia Dortmund spurred him on Klopp says defeat to Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League final when he was at Borussia Dortmund spurred him on
Klopp's only previous experience of a Champions League final came with Borussia Dortmund five years ago, when Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich triumphed 2-1 courtesy of Arjen Robben's 89th-minute strike.
"I am pretty sure I was much more excited last time," he said.
"Going to a Champions League final as a manager is pretty difficult to do so it is maybe a once in a lifetime chance and that is how I remember it felt at the time.
"After the game, I knew I wanted to have this opportunity again. It took a while but we are here because my boys gave me that chance again."Fantasy Six-a-Side
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'REAL WILL BE MORE CONFIDENT'
Jurgen Klopp has conceded that Real Madrid are likely to line-up with more confidence because they have recent experience of winning the Champions League.
He said: "Experience is very important and I’m pretty sure that in the seconds before the game Real will be more confident than we are. But it’s not a problem because the game doesn’t end in that second, it only starts.
"We have had two weeks to prepare and everything is clear. We’ve analysed Real Madrid playing against different teams and thought, ‘wow they are really strong’, but they have never played us.
"We are Liverpool. Not only are we a really good football team, it’s in the club’s DNA to go for the big things. Nobody expected us to be here but we are because we are Liverpool. We had the most exceptional run to the final with the most goals.
"The experience they have is a big advantage, 100 per cent, but in the game it doesn’t help all the time. We have to make it as difficult as possible for them. We cannot try to fight on their level but tactics in football are there to bring a better opponent to your level. When they’re on your level you can beat them."