BBC Sport pundit predicts Liverpool FC v Flamengo in Club World Cup final
Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Liverpool FC's clash with Flamengo in the Club World Cup final on Saturday
Mark Lawrenson is backing Liverpool FC to clam a 1-0 victory over Flamengo to win the Club World Cup on Saturday night.
The Reds are not in Premier League action this weekend as they compete in the prestigious Fifa competition following their Champions League triumph last season.
Liverpool FC sealed their spot in the showpiece thanks to a 2-1 win over Monterrey last week and they are now preparing to take on Brazilian side Flamengo in the final.
Jurgen Klopp will be aiming for his team to win another trophy under the German head coach by sealing a win on Saturday – and former Reds star Lawrenson is backing the Merseyside outfit to emerge triumphant with a 1-0 victory after extra-time.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will have to start with his first-choice front three – Mohamed Salah, plus Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, who both started on the bench against Monterrey on Wednesday evening.
“I am presuming that Virgin van Dijk, who missed that semi-final with illness, will have recovered by then. Liverpool will need him.
“I really do think this is a 50-50 game when I come to call it, because of what it means to Flamengo.
“I am not sure people in England realise how big this game is in Brazil – I only realised this week that Flamengo fans still have a song about when they beat the Liverpool side I played for in the 1981 final. I had no idea.
“Flamengo will have lots of fans there and I think it is going to be a very hard-fought contest. What might decide it is that Liverpool can go flat out for 120 minutes, and I am not sure their opponents will be able to do the same.”
Liverpool FC have enjoyed a brilliant start to the season in the Premier League and they are currently 10 points clear at the top of the table.
The Reds have won 16 of their 17 games in the top flight to leave them as they heavy favourites to win the top-flight title this term.
They will return to Premier League action on Boxing Day with a trip to the King Power Stadium to take on second-placed Leicester City.