Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has predicted Liverpool to lose 3-2 in the Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday night.

The Merseyside club will go into the contest as slight underdogs against a Madrid side chasing a third consecutive European crown, but they have been the top scorers in the competition so far.

Merson has tipped the Spanish giants to narrowly prevail in Kiev and make history in the process.

“Both teams will open up and Liverpool must think if they have a go they will score goals,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“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.

“I think it will be a really open game and I’d be surprised if Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo aren’t both on the scoresheet, but I’m going for Karim Benzema to open the scoring in a narrow Real Madrid win.”

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Football Insider verdict:

Liverpool are on the brink of creating history at the weekend and the players can write their names into Anfield folklore if they manage to topple Madrid, but know the size of the task in front of them. Jurgen Klopp’s side have shown in the competition already they have the firepower to blow away anybody and have been scintillating in front of goal. They have an attacking trio to match anyone in Europe on their day and many feel that Mohamed Salah could be destined for the Ballon d’Or if he helps Liverpool win the Champions League trophy. However, Madrid are highly experienced campaigners and have won the top European prize in three of the last four seasons. They have not been at their best domestically this campaign and finished 17 points adrift of champions Barcelona, but have managed to find another gear when competing in Europe and of course they have their own superstar in the shape of Ronaldo.

In other Liverpool news, Mark Lawrenson has delivered his verdict on Steven Gerrard’s Anfield exit to join Rangers.

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