Jamie Carragher: The Liverpool FC star who won’t start Champions League final

Liverpool FC legend Jamie Carragher outlines the big selection dilemma facing Jurgen Klopp ahead of Saturday's final

Georginio Wijnaldum (Photo: The Sport Review)
Georginio Wijnaldum (Photo: The Sport Review)

Jamie Carragher believes Jurgen Klopp will opt to start Georginio Wijnaldum ahead of James Milner in the Liverpool FC team in the Champions League final.

The Reds are in the final days of their preparation for the Champions League showpiece against their Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid on Saturday night.

Liverpool FC booked their place in successive Champions League finals thanks to Wijnaldum’s two goals from the bench in their 4-0 victory over FC Barcelona in the semi-final.

Milner, like Wijnaldum, has been in excellent form throughout the season despite his aging legs, following a return of five goals and four assists in 19 starts and 12 substitute appearances in the league.

Klopp is expected to start captain Jordan Henderson and holding midfielder Fabinho in the heart of his Liverpool FC team.

That leaves the right side of midfield as the only contentious position as Milner and Wijnaldum look to secure the final spot in Klopp’s side.

And former Liverpool FC defender Carragher believes Klopp will opt for Wijnaldum ahead of Milner.

“I think he’s only got one [selection headache],” Carragher told The Anfield Wrap.

“I think James Milner misses out, unfortunately. I love him, he’s been a brilliant signing since he came, plays in different positions at different times, does a brilliant job in midfield as well.

“I just think the fact with Wijnaldum, the whole season, would probably edge being our best midfielder.

“I don’t think he’s been brilliant all season, he’s had ups and downs in the second half of the season when he’s looked a little bit tired but coming on against Barcelona, scoring two goals, more often than not he’s been the first-choice midfield player.

“Henderson’s been out at different times, Fabinho had a tough first half of the season. I think it will be Henderson to the right, Fabinho and Wijnaldum.”

Whoever misses out can take hope from Dietmar Hamann’s influence from the bench in the 2005 Champion League final.

Hamann was left out of the team in favour of Harry Kewell but the German midfielder replaced Steve Finnan at half-time.

His influence helped Liverpool FC come from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties in Istanbul.

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