Vinicius vs Alexander-Arnold: Liverpool and Real Madrid prepare to face off in one of the most anticipated finals of the UEFA Champions League, in what might be a fight of wits for the players, a tactical war for the managers, and a battle of bragging and passion for the supporters.
The Parc de Princes in Paris will be decked out in red and white. The fixture’s history makes it all the more thrilling, but this is unlike any other time they’ve met before.
As much as we focus on the two teams as a whole, ready to compete for the trophy, we must also consider the individual genius of each of the two teams as they face off in the final.
We’ll go through two of the most anticipated player battles from the final in this series of articles. We’ll also look at how each of the different clashes might play out during the game.
Vinicius Junior vs Trent Alexander-Arnold
Vinicius Junior coming up against Trent Alexander Arnold, Liverpool’s assist machine, may be a wonderful matchup between the two players. Meanwhile, Trent has proven this season, despite all the critiques, that he can defend as effectively as he can attack.
For someone who makes regular running moves up and down the right flank for Klopp’s side, his stats are insane.
Trent was only 17 years old when he was drafted into the Liverpool team. Along with his Scottish Liverpool teammate Andrew Robertson, he is changing the modern perspective of both fullbacks. In the Klopp era, the two have played a key role in setting up goals for their offensive teammates.
Trent, in particular, has outshined everyone in his vision for producing those great in-between-the-lines passes for players like Mane, Jota, and now Diaz to hang on to and score. However, he has been chastised for frequently leaving Liverpool’s right side unprotected by attempting to trackback while in the middle of an assault.
Trent, on the other hand, appears to have put in a lot of effort to develop that aspect of his game, as evidenced by the statistics below.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s Numbers for the Season
In 46 games with the Reds, the English fullback has assisted a whopping 19 goals across all competitions and has also chipped in two himself. Considering his on-field positioning and function, those numbers are incredible.
Meanwhile, in the UCL, Trent Alexander-Arnold has appeared in eight games and has a total of four assists which means the English defender has the possibility of providing at least an assist per two games.
Now for the defensive stats, which you will be surprised to see because of the progress he has made and his hard work on the practice field (in the UCL). Trent has touched the ball 106 times in his UCL career, which is the average per game. He’s generated a total of seven major chances, as well as at least three vital passes each game.
He also has an average of two tackles per game and two interceptions per game. Trent has also improved in those crucial one-on-one situations, when the English full-back has won 60% of all duels. (Sofascore provided all statistics)
Vinicius Junior, the 21-year-old Brazilian sensation and one of Real Madrid’s main players this season, will undoubtedly aim to be a vital asset for Real Madrid in the Champions League final versus Liverpool.
Although the attacking left-winger did not have the opportunity to show off his skill set until last season, he has certainly improved this season. He’s pushed the gas pedal all the way down to 6th gear and heading uphill, leaving everyone speechless. This season has already proven to be a watershed moment for the young Brazilian international.
Vinicius, aka Vini, possesses all of the necessary attributes to succeed as a winger in today’s game. He has the speed to beat his markers on the counterattack, a Brazilian flare to get beyond his man in a 1-v-1 situation, and an A-quality finishing ability to beat keepers from the narrowest of angles.
Given that he will be against Alisson Becker, a national teammate, Vinicius must make the most of whatever chances he may have in the final third, especially given how brilliant Alisson has been in goal for the Reds this season, saving them on several occasions.
Vinicius Season in Numbers
Meanwhile, the 21-year-old Real Madrid midfielder has amassed a massive G/A for the season. Vinicius has scored 20 goals and assisted another 21 for his teammates in 51 games across all competitions. He has now scored 41 goals this season, and the Champions League final is still to come. It’s ridiculous!
He’s been fantastic all season, even in the Champions League! Up until the final, the Brazilian youngster had scored 10 goals in a total of 12 games for his club, and he had started in all Madrid’s UCL games this season.
Vinicius is a complete winger at such a young age, as evidenced by the following sofascore stats: He has seven assists and a total passing accuracy of 83 percent per game. Meanwhile, he has a 90 percent passing accuracy in his own half and an 80 percent passing accuracy in the opposition’s half, demonstrating that he does track back when the circumstance requires it.
He has also generated five great chances in the UCL so far this season. In the European Competition, he has averaged over three critical passes this season.
What we believe
Overall, Vinicius will undoubtedly be the game’s highlight. When these two teams met the last time, the Brazilian star provided several dangers to the right-back position.
Trent wasn’t as good as he is now, and it had been another year. But, once again, a lot has changed—where Trent has vastly improved, Vinicius has emerged as an unexpected beast this season.
In the comments section below, you can also share your ideas.