Liverpool will face Flamengo in the final of the Club World Cup on Saturday. This game will see the winners of the UEFA Champions League taking on the winners of the Copa Libertadores.
The Reds survived a scare against Monterrey on Wednesday as they needed a late winner from Roberto Firmino to seal a place in the final while Flamengo came from behind to beat Al Hilal on Tuesday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men will be determined to win their first silverware of the season on Saturday. This is one competition they’ve not won having lost a final to Sao Paulo in 2005.
The competition may not be revered as much as other elite competitions, but Klopp will be looking to maintain his side’s fine form before they return to Premier League action. Therefore, it is expected that more renowned first-team players will be deployed for this game.
Flamengo have established themselves as a non-traditional Brazilian team due to the European influence that has played a part in their recent successes.
Former Sporting Lisbon and Benfica coach Jorge Jesus is the European coach in charge and this is a rare feat in Brazil. The Brazilian side are impressive and have shown character after coming from behind to win the Copa Libertadores final and the Club World Cup semi-final against Al Hilal.
One man that will be instrumental for the Reds in this game is Senegal international Sadio Mane. He was rested and played no part against Monterrey and will be fully fit and poised to face Flamengo. He will likely be in the starting 11 for the final having carved a niche for himself as arguably the most influential player for the Reds this season.
He has scored 11 goals and provided 6 assists in all competitions thus far. The likes of Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino will also pose a significant danger to the opponents.
The Reds will have to be on the lookout for Gabriel Barbosa nicknamed Gabigol. He is the star of the Flamengo team and this could be his final game for the Brazilian side as his loan spell from Inter Milan comes to an end.
He was the key man for the Brazilians in their Copa Libertadores run. scoring twice in the final against River Plate and getting sent off. He has the talent but still has a lot of work to do on his game management and mentality. He is one player that should trouble Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Virgil Van Dijk is expected to be passed fit from illness and start for the Reds. Jordan Henderson is also likely to return to his role in central midfield having deputized as a center-back in the last game. The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gini Wijnaldum and Mane should start.
Flamengo are expected to line up the same way as the previous game with Gabriel Barbosa leading the charge.