Ex-Liverpool and Real star McManaman makes Champions League final predicition
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Liverpool’s key trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk have been snubbed as Liverpool’s player of the year by David James, who says goalkeeper Alisson should have been given the award. Salah, Mane and Van Dijk have had stunning seasons as the Reds aim to win their third trophy of the season in the Champions League final on Saturday against Real Madrid.
However former Liverpool goalkeeper James has backed his fellow shot-stopper. “Alisson’s my Liverpool player of the season without a doubt, I’ve been saying it for weeks,” James told talkSPORT.
“This isn’t about the goalkeeper’s union, I’ve been looking through some videos and Alisson’s got the best at one-on-ones. I looked at him, Hugo Lloris and Ederson in one-on-one situations. When I watched through the videos I was like ‘oh yeah, he made that save’.
“He’s been pulling out big saves all season when Liverpool have been at 0-0 or not winning a game of football and then Liverpool will go on and score three or four goals.”
Alisson shared the Golden Glove award this season with Manchester City stopper Ederson, as the pair both kept 20 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, more than any other goalkeeper.
James continued: “Mo Salah has been fantastic again, sharing the Golden Boot, but if you look at Liverpool’s record, what has been really polarised has been the end of the season where in four of the last five games Liverpool have been behind and come back to win the games. They’ve got so much resilience. Whereas earlier in the season when they were conceding first they weren’t winning the games. That made Alisson’s early saves even more important.
“He has been superb this season. He has underpinned everything that Liverpool have achieved so far. His assists he’s contributed, his calmness, he never looks flapped. He’s been a rock. Don’t be surprised if Ali’s man-of-the-match in the Champions League final.”
Alisson has played in every Champions League game for Liverpool this season, keeping four clean sheets in the process and will be hoping for one more against Real Madrid as the Reds aim to complete a cup treble. They took Manchester City close in the race for the Premier League title, as Pep Guardiola’s side came out on top on the final day as they came from behind to defeat Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.
Klopp has three big decisions to make for his lineup in Paris but is not expected to make any changes in goal after a stellar season from his number one Alisson, despite understudy Caoimhin Kelleher stepping up once already in a cup final. He kept a clean sheet and scored the winning penalty in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea in February.
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