'They have their comeuppance coming' - Liverpool legend with a bold prediction for Champions League final
Liverpool great Mark Lawrenson has told Independent.ie that Real Madrid are there for the taking in Saturday's Champions League final in Kiev, as he urged Jurgen Klopp's men to 'seize the moment' to be crowned as kings of Europe.
Former Ireland defender Lawrenson was a European Cup winner with Liverpool in 1984 (below) and while he suggests two-time defending Champions League winners Real Madrid deserve to be respected, he suggests opportunity is knocking for Klopp and his players.
"Real Madrid have all the experience and as good as they have been in this competition over the last three or four years, I feel they have got away with it a few occasions in recent years," Paddy Power ambassador Lawro told us.
"It feels to me like they have their comeuppance coming and I obviously hope that is on Saturday, when Liverpool have to go out there believing they can win this trophy.
"Jurgen Klopp and his staff will have spent the last week or so convincing all the players that their moment has come. He is so positive in everything he does and the players will believe when they get out there.
"In some ways, I see this as a 50-50 game, but I can certainly see a route for Liverpool to win if they reproduce the kind of football we have seen from them over the course of this Champions League run.
"Mohamed Salah has been just amazing this season and I would guess that Real Madrid's defenders won't fancy what is coming at them on Saturday as Liverpool are a nightmare to play against.
"Of course, you need some luck in Cup Finals as the best team doesn’t always win. We saw that in 2005 when Liverpool won the Champions League from nowhere with a team that wasn't that great, but this team is better than that side from 13 years ago.
"Instead of going into the game worried about not having won anything, I would reverse that mentality and suggest the Liverpool players should be thinking; you know what, this is our time. Let’s seize the moment."
Klopp has lost his five of the six major Cup Finals he has contested over the course of his coaching career at Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, yet Lawrenson suggests that record should not be a factor in this weekend's Champions League final in Kiev.
"People say Klopp has a bad record in finals, but he has a good record of getting to them and that is the other way of looking at it," he adds.
"Also, he has been the underdog in most of the finals he has played and maybe that is a little different this time. When you are big outsiders to win a final and come out second best, that is hardly failure, but he will hope to get the biggest win of them all on Saturday.
"I just think something is set in stone for Liverpool to win this. I just feel they will come out and win this. They are ready for it. Destiny is a factor in football, it always will be."
Mark Lawrenson is a Paddy Power ambassador. To read more, go to news.paddypower.com