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 By Sid Lowe

Real's Zinedine Zidane isn't known for tactics or style, just ability to win

ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Stewart Robson head to Hydropark in Kiev to put their innovative way of predicting the Champions League winner to the test.

Zinedine Zidane smiled that Zinedine Zidane smile, the one that sometimes seems to disarm them all.

"I'm not the best coach, and I will always say that," he said. "I am not the best coach tactically. And, well, I don't need to say that..." There was a pause, and that was when that smile crept across his face and he added: "... because you lot always say that, anyway." They laughed, but they knew he was right. Many a true word said in jest and all that, but beyond the smile, there was a hint of...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Champions League final: Real Madrid vs. Liverpool predictions

ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Stewart Robson head to Hydropark in Kiev to put their innovative way of predicting the Champions League winner to the test.
The Exploding Heads receive all type of Liverpool banner requests ahead of the Champions League final including the good, bad and absolutely dreadful.

Which club will lift the European Cup in Kiev? Here are our writers' predictions.

Gab Marcotti: Real Madrid 2-0 Liverpool

Real Madrid's ability to win even when not playing well -- see their games vs. PSG and Bayern -- will give them an edge against fatigued, injury-hit Liverpool.

Mark Ogden: Real Madrid 2-4 Liverpool

Expect goals and defensive mistakes from both teams, but if Liverpool score first and make Real chase the game, they can hit ruthlessly on the counterattack.

Raphael Honigstein:...

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo on shirtless goal celebrations: 'It just happens'

Cristiano Ronaldo is adamant he never sets out to celebrate goals by whipping his jersey off and flexing his muscles, despite that becoming one of the most iconic images of the Real Madrid star.

One of the most memorable scenes in Ronaldo's self-made 2015 documentary featured him removing his jersey for the camera after scoring a late penalty in the previous year's Champions League final, with the same topless celebration repeated when he hit the winning spot kick in the 2016 decider.

Asked...

How does fasting during Ramadan affect Muslim players in UCL and World Cup?

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah is looking forward to facing Cristiano Ronaldo in the UEFA Champions League final with Real Madrid on Saturday.
Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum insists Mo Salah must replicate his form for many years to be mentioned with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Mohamed Salah's meteoric career could reach new heights on Saturday when his Liverpool team take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

The match coincides with the holy month of Ramadan, and Salah, along with Liverpool teammates Sadio Mane and Emre Can, Real Madrid's Karim Benzema and Achraf Hakimi, had faced the decision whether to refrain completely from eating and drinking on the day of the final.

Previously, the likes of former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh opted to take a break...

 By Michael Cox

Liverpool fast start, Madrid late pressure can decide UCL final

Gab Marcotti and Stewart Robson examine the styles of Real Madrid and Liverpool and how they combine to set up a potentially thrilling UCL final.
ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Mark Ogden build up to the UCL final and discuss the latest issues plaguing Liverpool supporters in Kiev.
ESPN FC's Stewart Robson reveals his best XI comprised of both Liverpool and Real Madrid players.
ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Stewart Robson head to Hydropark in Kiev to put their innovative way of predicting the Champions League winner to the test.
As Real Madrid prepare for Kiev we go behind the scenes at the Bernabeu as Ronaldo grabs a lift to training, Zidane speaks about Liverpool and Kroos talks Klopp.
As Liverpool head to Kiev, a look behind the scenes at Anfield as Salah meets Lampard, van Djik nutmegs Lovren and ESPN meets Wijnaldum.

Saturday's Champions League final offers one of the most fascinating tactical clashes in recent memory: Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, with their astute, intensive, counter-pressing approach, meet the more laissez-faire style of Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid, who concentrate upon possession play.

It has all the makings of a superb match. Here are four key questions waiting to be answered.

1. What formation will Zidane use?

The most remarkable thing about Real Madrid's Champions League record under Zidane...

Champions League final repeat of 1981 shows tables have turned at Madrid, Liverpool

ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Stewart Robson head to Hydropark in Kiev to put their innovative way of predicting the Champions League winner to the test.
ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Mark Ogden build up to the UCL final and discuss the latest issues plaguing Liverpool supporters in Kiev.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti and Stewart Robson discuss this weekend's Champions League final, specifically what Real Madrid must do to stop Mohamed Salah.

The buildup to the 1981 European Cup final between this year's Champions League finalists, Real Madrid and Liverpool, sounds quite familiar.

One team went into the decider having won two of the previous three European Cups and arrived at the Parc des Princes as big favourites. They were a side full of big-game experience and winners' medals.

Facing them was a club that had lots of European Cup pedigree, but was very far from the elite. Humbling second-round exits to Grasshoppers of Zurich (1978-79)...