As we look ahead to the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham on the 1st June, we take a look at some of the matchups between the two sides to see where the game could be won and lost.
Today, we assess the two goalkeepers and their impact on their respective clubs:
Alisson – Liverpool
The £67m spent on Alisson last summer seems like a fantastic piece of business considering the impact he has had on this Liverpool team.
By the end of the season, the Brazilian goalkeeper had amassed 21 clean sheets in the league, conceding just 22 in 38 games. If we look at his save percentage as well, he has the best in the league, saving 77.1% of all shots faced this campaign.
His fantastic positioning makes difficult saves look easy, while his handling is top notch. His composure and commanding presence put him streets ahead of Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet, showing manager Jurgen Klopp was very shrewd in upgrading his keeper last summer.
The 26-year-old can take too long to clear his lines, shown very early on in the season when he lost the ball for Leicester’s goal in the 2-1 win at the King Power.
Alisson has also shown signs of nerves during the big games. His mistake led to Manchester United’s equaliser in the 3-1 victory in December, while he also looked less than assured in the 2-0 win over Chelsea in April. Neither game, however, cost the team points.
Hugo Lloris – Tottenham
As a World Cup-winning captain, the Frenchman will not have any big game nerves during the final in Madrid. Out of two, you’d expect him to be the one to stay composed under pressure.
Despite some mistakes, it is surprising to see that Lloris actually has the second-best save percentage in the Premier League this season (75.2%) suggesting that he has been consistent for the most part.
Even with 110 caps for France, and his 457 games at senior level, the 32-year-old is prone to errors in key moments. It didn’t cost France in the World Cup final but his mistake for Mario Mandzukic’s goal was a serious error of judgement.
Spurs supporters will be hoping his most recent lapse against Liverpool, allowing the Reds to grab a last-gasp 2-1 win, is not an omen for the final.
Both Alisson and Lloris have shown they are top-class keepers, but you would have to say that on recent form, the Reds’ number one would just edge it.