Both Real Madrid and Liverpool started the 2021-22 season hoping to recover from baren seasons in 2020-21. The odds were stacked in favor of English clubs Man City and Chelsea, as well as French club PSG and German giant Bayern Munich to make the top four. Real Madrid was responsible for knocking out three of them in exciting fashion, highlighting the genius of Karim Benzema. Liverpool comfortably cruised through all stages with just a minor bump in the round of 16 against Inter Milan, ultimately reaching the final with ease by putting an end to Benfica and Villarreal campaigns.
On May 22, Liverpool was close to stealing the English Premier League title from Man City. Were it not for a three-goal comeback win over Aston Villa lead by super-sub Ilkay Gundogan, the Citizens’ season could have been lost. With EFL and FA cups already won by penalty shootouts against Chelsea, Liverpool will now travel to Paris to face Real Madrid for a chance a third out of four pieces of silver.
On the opposite side, Real Madrid took advantage of the lack of consistency in all Spanish sides domestically to win La Liga with a handful of matches to spare. In all honesty, while empty stadiums made it difficult to enjoy football entirely not that long ago, Real Madrid’s ties in the knockout stages were a tonic to forget those times always hoping for a better tomorrow.
Both teams can already mark this season as successful regardless of the result on Saturday. The pressure on the players to achieve victory will be minor, the difference will simply be who wants it more. The UCL final promises to entertain both sides’ partisans as well as neutral spectators when the curtain falls on the 2021-22 season in Paris.
MATCH-DAY 13 FANTASY GUIDE
MD-13 is the final of UCL, to be played on Saturday May 28.
Fantasy managers are allowed five free transfers after Villarreal and Man City were knocked out in the semifinals.
Do not panic — all you need for the final are 11 players. We get to see all of the starting lineups in the countdown hour before the deadline, so you don’t need any active players on your bench. As long as you can field six and five from each of Liverpool and Real Madrid, you will have enough.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool
The domestic leagues for both clubs concluded on Sunday May 22. Real Madrid drew with Real Betis 0-0 while Liverpool defeated Wolves 3-1. Karim Benzema won La Liga’s golden boot with a total of 27 goals. He also led in shots on goal with 59. The royal club scored a total of 80 goals from 259 shots on target while conceding 31. Vinicius Jr tops the leaderboard of successful dribbles with 95.
In England, Mo Salah shared the Premier League’s golden boot with Hueng Min Son at 23 goals. The Egyptian star also recorded the most assists in EPL with 13. Goalkeeper Alisson Becker won the golden-gloves award by keeping 20 clean sheets. Liverpool came in second in EPL, scoring 94 from 729 shots while keeping 21 clean sheets — very similar to Manchester City.
MATCHDAY 13 BUILD UP
My fellow UCL expert Sravan is studying MD-13 player picks to give you some ideas for transfers tomorrow, and Dhivakhar will publish his strategies and team development for your rating and advice.
You are welcome to post tactics chat and questions in the comments section of this article as well. And of course, I will be posting the UCL Live Chat article on Saturday. Injuries and suspensions lists will be covered there, so be sure to check in.
NMA UCL Fantasy Mini-League
If you played our UCL mini-league last season, or if you played our Euros mini-league over the summer, you should automatically be entered into NMA’s 2021-22 mini-league as soon as you create a team. Head to gaming.uefa.com and get to work!
If you are new to us, then once you create a team you can join our mini-league manually with the following info. Come join us, we’d love to have you!
- Code: 71MQALVG07
Can UCL fantasy ease the withdrawal pangs after our domestic leagues ended? How ragged is your squad after the semis? Do you have a chip left? If so play it! Please log in and share your thoughts / questions in the comments below!