Jordan Henderson warns Real Madrid ahead of Champions League final | Soccer

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Jordan Henderson expects a very different Champions League final to 2018 (Image: Getty Images)

Jordan Henderson has warned Real Madrid that they will face a much better side from Liverpool in the Champions League final this weekend than they did in the same game four years ago.

The two sides played a memorable Champions League final in Kyiv four years ago, which Real Madrid won 3-1 thanks to a goal from Karim Benzema and a brace from Gareth Bale.

That only tells half the story, however, as Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius made a couple of glaring errors that allowed Benzema to start the goal and Bale scored one of his goals.

Karius’ upgrade to current goalkeeper Alisson Becker has been a big part of the Liverpool side’s improvement since then, but Henderson believes there’s been a lot more growth over the past four years and warns Real it’s a different beast they face face in Paris on Saturday.

“I would say they are facing a different Liverpool for sure,” Henderson told the Guardian.

“We did very well to get there when we played Madrid in the final in 2018. The guys were incredible. But we’ve grown since then.


Liverpool suffered a painful loss to Real Madrid in 2018 (Image: Getty Images)

“New players came on, we were successful, we also had bad moments during this time, and you learn from all of that.

“I definitely feel like this is a different team than Madrid were a few years ago.”

The starting line-up in Kyiv four years ago included a number of names likely to feature on Saturday, so it won’t be a very different Liverpool set to take on the Spanish giants.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Henderson himself were all in the 2018 final and will likely start in Paris.

However, they have since won the Champions League and Premier League under Jurgen Klopp and won the FA Cup and League Cup this season while narrowly missing out on another Premier League title.

With the likes of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota now in their ranks, the Reds pose a threat from many quarters despite sweating from injuries ahead of the Champions League final.

Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara are two other players likely to start this weekend who weren’t there four years ago, but neither is fully fit.

A hamstring injury suffered by Fabinho is likely to have recovered in time for Saturday but the problem Thiago picked up against Wolves on the final day of the Premier League season is unlikely to be cured in time.

MORE: Karim Benzema aims to attack Liverpool fans and sends message to Mohamed Salah

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Liverpool FC Jordan Henderson warns Real Madrid ahead of Champions League final | Soccer

Nate Jones

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