Liverpool’s front three more lethal than Real Madrid’s, says Phil Thompson

Anfield legend Phil Thompson believes Liverpool’s attacking trident is more lethal than Real Madrid’s ahead of their Champions League final showdown.

The Reds have scored 40 goals en route to Kiev, with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both scoring 10 times, while Sadio Mane has nine.

Cristiano Ronaldo trumps the lot with 15 goals, but his supporting acts have struggled to prove as effective, with Karim Benzema their second highest scorer in the competition with four, while Gareth Bale has just one goal.

Thommo believes his former club’s prolific front three will be one of factors in them ending Real Madrid’s domination of the competition.

“We have more pace all round and are smarter with our movement so I think, as a three, yes Firmino, Salah and Mane are better than Real Madrid’s front three,” he told Sky Sports.

“I’d have Firmino over Benzema all day long, Bale has been in and out of the team all season and it is only Ronaldo who has been consistent, so yes I would take our front three over theirs.”

The Soccer Saturday pundit also pinpoints central midfield as a key battleground the Reds can win, while warning of the area Zinedine Zidane’s men will look to exploit.

“I think the midfield battle is going to be key as well,” he added. “Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are very good technically but I don’t think they have the same energy as James Milner, Jordan Henderson, and Georginio Wijnaldum, so I think that is where the press really becomes effective and I think that will really be key.

“However, I think it is key how we defend the far post areas. With Ronaldo and Bale arriving in the final third, that is where they dink it to the far post and try and arrive late on the shoulders of our full-backs.

“We have to be aware of how to defend that. If they get to the byline then they’ll be looking to cut the centre-backs out of the equation.”

Thommo does, however, believe that Real Madrid’s recent history in the competition, which has seen them win it three out of the last four year, must make them favourites.

He said: “Their experience makes them favourites, without a doubt, as it is not only the team but the players individually who have all played in one of these finals.

“They could be a bit blase maybe, but we also have to be aware they won’t panic if they go 1-0 down because of their experience of getting the job done from difficult positions.”