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Liverpool told how to exploit Real Madrid 'weakness' in Champions League final

Liverpool have been told to press Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the Champions League final.

The Reds have shown not just this season but throughout Jurgen Klopp's time at the club that they can force any side into a costly error - as proved in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in April when Sadio Mane pressed and blocked Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffan's pass back into his own goal.

And pundit Martin Keown believes Liverpool can get a lot of success if they try and force Madrid to go long when Courtois has the ball at his feet in tonight's showpiece in Paris.

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Not only that, with Carlo Ancelotti's side looking to play out from the back, hurrying the former Chelsea shot-stopper could be a key to victory, according to the ex-Arsenal and Everton defender.

"Jurgen Klopp’s side can look to control their opponents in a way that City simply didn’t," Keown said in the Daily Mail, referencing Madrid's Champions League semi-final success over Pep Guardiola's team. "One way that Liverpool can look to inflict damage on Real and dominate possession is using their high press to force the ball into being played back to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

"He made some super saves against City but the goalkeeper is not as comfortable using his feet as others. That’s a weakness which Liverpool — the best pressing team in Europe — can try to exploit at the Stade de France tonight."

Keown also said the Reds' defenders will have to be at their best to stop Madrid's dangermen. Karim Benzema showed against City and against Chelsea in the quarter-finals that he only needs half a chance to find the back of the net, while Vinicuis Junior could prove to be a handful in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold if Mohamed Salah doesn't help out.

"As the right-sided forward, Salah will need to put in a shift tonight," said Keown. "Trent Alexander-Arnold will be trying to push up in support of Salah. But likewise, Salah needs to be willing to help Alexander-Arnold, too. The right-back is going to be tested to the limit tonight by Vinicius Junior, who is rapid. For all his attacking ability, Alexander-Arnold’s defensive capabilities have been questioned in the past. Tie down Vinicius tonight and that debate is over.

"Liverpool’s centre-backs need to be touch-tight to Karim Benzema. Any space and he can be the difference between winning and losing this final. Who starts alongside Virgil van Dijk — one of Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate — is a big decision for Klopp."