paris awaits | 

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher offer alternative views on Liverpool v Real Madrid

Kevin Palmer

Gary Neville admits he has been living through a nightmare over the last few months, as the Manchester United legend watched Liverpool and Manchester City sweep all before them in English and European football.

United's great rivals have emerged as the dominant force in the game over the last few years and Neville may be watching from behind his sofa on Saturday night as Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris.

Klopp's Reds are favourites to win the club's seventh European crown, but Neville suggests they are up against a dangerous underdog in Spanish champions Real Madrid.

"I don't think Liverpool will win the European Cup," Neville said on The Overlap podcast.

"I've thought a lot about Paris and I've thought about Real Madrid and why they've won their games, why they keep coming back.

"I thought back to 1999 and how we kept coming back in games and winning late on. It was our midfield of Keane, Butt, Scholes, Giggs and Beckham. They were absolutely phenomenal, beyond any level of what I've ever seen.

"I look at Real Madrid's midfield in Casemiro, Kroos, Modric - plus the two that come in late with Valverde and Camavinga - those five players drive them right from the first minute and right to the end. And Carlo Ancelotti interferes with them until the very end.

"I think Liverpool's midfield is their weak point and in the last 15 minutes that midfield for Real Madrid - the five of them combined - will see them win the game on Saturday."

Unsurprisingly, Neville's Sky Sports colleague and Liverpool great Jamie Carragher had an alternative view, as he backed Klopp's side to prevail.

"I've watched Real Madrid in the Champions League this season and they've lost more games in the Champions League than Liverpool have lost all season in all competitions," he stated.

"Real Madrid are a very good team but they're not as good as Man City and I don't think they're as good as Chelsea - even though they beat both of them.

"You can spin it both ways with the spirit, the winning, the coming back, but they've carried a lot of luck in those games, which you need. If you win every game in the last minute coming from behind, if you're that good a team you don't get yourself in that position all the time.

"Man City should have battered them, they should have won [their semi-final first leg ] 6-2 at home - and then they're 3-0 down at home to Chelsea.

"Of course, Real can win - it's a one-off game. I just think if City or Liverpool were playing Real Madrid in a one-off game, having their team and playing near their best, they'd win the game. I'm confident."

Meanwhile, Irish bookie Paddy Power have released a comedy video featuring a host of Everton greats expressing their hope for a Real Madrid win this weekend.

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