Michael Owen believes Real Madrid are favourites in Champions League final with Liverpool

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Michael Owen during his days with Real Madrid.

Few viewers of the Champions League final will have a better understanding of both sides than Michael Owen, who was a force with both Liverpool and Real Madrid during his stellar career.

The former player-turned-commentator will have his loyalties split, but from an objective point of view, Owen believes Real are the favourites thanks to their experience.

In an interview with Marca, Owen said when the Spanish giants “need to win, they do”.

He added: “The strong point of Real Madrid is the experience they have in this type of match, and players as decisive as Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco…”

While Owen picked Real to claim a third straight European crown at the beginning of the season, he’s been impressed with Liverpool’s rise and now sees the final as being more “50-50”.

One of the obvious reasons for the club’s emergence has been Mohamed Salah, who has dazzled this season as a prolific goal scorer.

The Egyptian is deservedly in the mix for the Ballon d’Or, as is Ronaldo, who is vying for his third successive piece of hardware.

As close as the competition is over the award, Owen believes the result of the Champions League final will play a major factor in who walks away with the coveted honour.

“I think a lot will depend on who wins the Champions League,” Owen said. “If Real Madrid wins, then Cristiano will be there once more. If Liverpool does it, Salah would be favourite. He has been absolutely brilliant this year, and has done very well in the Egypt team, taking them to the World Cup.”

Owen, just like the rest of us, will have the wait until May 26 to see how it all plays out.

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Liverpool on their way to becoming a 'really good team' says Jurgen Klopp

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A wave to the fans following the second leg against Roma.

The Reds started off with a qualifier in August against Hoffenheim and after seeing off Manchester City in the quarter-finals and then Roma, including a nervy second leg defeat in the Stadio Olimpico, they have a meeting with defending champions Real Madrid on May 26.

“In our case, we’ve played in the Champions League without pressure most of the time,” Klopp told uefa.com.

“We entered the competition for the first time in a while and we quickly realised that we had a good chance.

“We aren’t anyone else. We are Liverpool, on the way to becoming a really good team, and performing at such a high level is very cool.

“To summarise, it’s been a crazy ride. But, after all, we’ve earned our place here.”

Liverpool are the top scorers in the competition with 40, not including their six goals against Hoffenheim.

They also have three of the top four scorers in Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino (both 10) and Sadio Mane (nine) –

Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way with 15 – and have James Milner top of the assists chart with nine just ahead of Firmino.

That is reflective of the football they have played this season and is a key factor of klopp‘s style of play.

“Football should be more oriented to finishing every attack with a shot on target. And that’s what we do whenever possible,” he added.

“We didn’t put a special value on that. It’s just part of the game.”

Firmino, with 27 goals in all competitions, is enjoying his best season as a professional but is still not satisfied

“I am still a little bit ‘restless’, as I always want more, to grow and grow even further,” he told uefa.com.

“I am a little bit annoyed, because I always want more and I am never satisfied.

“However, you cannot beat yourselves up about these things all the time and you must always keep moving forward.

“It is my first season in the Champions League and I am one of the leading scorers, alongside Cristiano and Salah.

“I am pretty pleased and very happy with my performance and the entire team’s performance and I hope to keep that going into the final.”

Klopp’s players reassemble in Marbella on Wednesday after a couple of days off for a short training camp.

Midfielder Emre Can, who has not played since March because of a back injury and looks set to leave the club with his contract expiring next month, will rejoin the squad for the medical staff to assess whether he is fit to return.

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Liverpool's Joe Gomez ruled out of Champions League final against Real Madrid

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Liverpool have suffered another injury blow after defender Joe Gomez was ruled out of this month’s Champions League final having undergone surgery on an ankle injury.

It also puts his World Cup participation in doubt as the 20-year-old looked a certain inclusion in the England squad before sustaining the problem in a friendly against Holland in March.

Gomez admitted he probably came back too early from that and he aggravated it in recent matches against West Brom and Stoke, leading to the club deciding on surgery, Press Association Sport understands.

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