Ahead of Liverpool's meeting with Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev, we gathered the expert views of 10 members of the nation's media.

In a two-part special, James Pearce from the Liverpool Echo, Chris Bascombe of the Telegraph, Dominic King from the Daily Mail, Brian Reade from the Daily Mirror, Melissa Reddy from Joe.co.uk, Rob Palmer from Sky Sports, BBC Radio 5 Live's Ian Dennis, David Maddock from the Daily Mirror, Andy Hunter from the Guardian and Neil Jones from Goal.com all give their assessment of the Reds' chances of claiming a sixth European Cup.

In part one, they give their thoughts on the rise of the Reds under Jürgen Klopp, the incredible campaign of Mohamed Salah and the threat posed by Cristiano Ronaldo and co…

Liverpool in the Champions League final – how much credit does Klopp deserve for taking this team to Kiev?

James Pearce: It's a sensational achievement in itself. Certainly at the start of the season I think it would have been beyond the wildest dreams of any Liverpool fan, the thought that they would be preparing for the Champions League final. You rewind back to last summer and it was viewed as a big achievement just getting into the group stage and it's been a few years since Liverpool had even managed that. The development that Klopp has overseen during the past nine months has been extraordinary. He has been the driving force of putting Liverpool back where they belong among Europe's elite.

Chris Bascombe: A tremendous amount. We have been writing about this during the last eight months or so about how far the club has come. Gerard Houllier took the club back into the Champions League and then they won it 2005 before it all came to an abrupt end in 2009. It was then all about getting back into it and they had that year under Brendan Rodgers, but it was a bit embarrassing how they performed on their Champions League return. Since Klopp has come in Liverpool have re-established back their European status and prestige. To get back into the Champions League last year was an achievement and to get back into it in successive years now is significant and it has almost been taken for granted. The greater achievement has been to go all the way to the final this season, which is quite extraordinary really. I don't think anybody would have believed that Liverpool in their first year back in the competition would reach the final. You always had the sense, though, that the combination of Klopp, Anfield on a European night and that sense of belief that comes as you get deeper into the tournament, would make Liverpool that formidable force. Klopp has galvanised that superbly but he's done more than that. He has produced a team and a style of play which is fitting of the name Liverpool. You go back to the old Shankly quote about making them submit. I'm not sure many teams have submitted but they have certainly been put to the sword, especially at Anfield. Whatever happens in Kiev it has been a fantastic achievement and I can't see it ending any time soon. I think Liverpool will be great if not more a force next year as well. You can't expect to get to the final every year but these are great times for the club and I think it's not going to be just this season, it will be for the foreseeable future as long as Klopp is at Liverpool and there is going to be some fantastic football to be enjoyed.

Dominic King: He deserves huge credit. Klopp has made Liverpool one of the most exciting teams on the continent and his commitment to playing attacking football has made European nights a joy to cover. He has found the right blend of players to execute his plans. He, however, would be the first to point out that this surge to Kiev has not been solely down to him. Liverpool are in this position because the recruitment has been first-class and the players have risen to challenges.

Brian Reade: As much credit as any manager could be afforded. Compare this campaign with Liverpool's last Champions League one three seasons ago, and there's a gulf in results, performances, attitude and the perception of the side's capabilities. Seven of the players who started home and away against Rome, Klopp either signed or brought through. It's his tactics that have produced the all-time record for goals in a single UEFA Champions League season and his passion that has taken players and the mood of expectation among fans to the next level.

Melissa Reddy: An incredible amount given the small size of the squad, the injuries since March, the rained out start to pre-season in Hong Kong and the sale of Philippe Coutinho. As the manager has stated, Liverpool had to qualify for the tournament by overcoming a well-tuned Hoffenheim team, so to be going to Kiev now is an astounding achievement. And the manner in which Liverpool have reached the final - breaking records, blitzing the opposition - deserves to be applauded too. Jürgen Klopp has extracted every inch from his roster while creating a culture of excellence and togetherness that goes beyond the playing personnel.

Rob Palmer: He deserves all the credit in the world for taking the team to Kiev. I think even the most die-hard Liverpool fan would admit it's possibly not the best team in Europe but he has squeezed every ounce of ability out of every single player in the squad. With respect, he hasn't got a massive deep pool of players for him to delve into but with limited resources he has done magnificently well to finish fourth in the league and win some big games along the way, and he has absolutely maximised everything out of every player he's had available to him.

Andy Hunter: All the credit available and he has done an outstanding job. The way he has micro-managed a squad that has been hit by so many injuries whilst navigating the team to a top-four finish and the Champions League final at the same time playing some of the best football that the competition has seen this season, or indeed anyone has seen and been entertained at the same time. I think it is absolutely fantastic what he gets out of this group and how he has constructed the squad, in terms of doing it carefully and building up the attack first and then putting in key pieces like Van Dijk afterwards. It has just been superb management, keeping everyone onside and everyone's confidence up after Coutinho left in January. Basically Klopp has confirmed what everyone thought about him when he was at Borussia Dortmund and what everyone at Liverpool hoped they were getting when he arrived.

Ian Dennis: I think he deserves a lot of credit. When you think back to the journey Liverpool have been on since Hoffenheim, the football they have played and the games they have been involved in, I think Klopp and the players deserve a lot of credit. I also think the fans have played their part too. I was at Anfield for the Manchester City game, which was always going to be a big match in the quarter-final. I do think the supporters have played their part as well in helping Liverpool get to Kiev.

Neil Jones: Huge credit. At the start of the season there was a few people who dared to dream that Liverpool can go far but the aim at the start was to finish in the top four and have a run in the Champions League. The thing about Liverpool is once runs start they tend to go on and on. If you had offered Liverpool the season that they've had now they would have taken it in August! If you look at the way they have reached the final it is so much down to the way Klopp has got his team set up. They are almost the perfect Champions League team, perfect knockout competition team. Klopp has been here two full seasons and the majority of another and has been to two finals in one and one final in this, the top four twice, I think you've got to say he is doing a fantastic job at Liverpool and taking them forward and getting them closer to be the kind of club they want to be.

David Maddock: Look at Liverpool's last Champions League campaign in 2014 before he arrived. Played six, won one v Ludogorets. Of course he's important, not least because his philosophy is the only way a side with the resources of Liverpool can compete with the truly rich clubs like Real Madrid. Klopp's approach levels that playing field by negating any weaknesses with a superb team ethic, and that has been brilliant this season. Here's the highest praise, it is almost Shankly-esque.

What impact would a potential sixth European Cup win for Liverpool have on the club going forward?

Pearce: I just think it would have a huge impact. It would be a real launch pad for the Klopp era at Anfield. There's been so many near-misses in recent seasons, you think back to the Premier League title race under Brendan Rodgers and the way that finished in 2013-14, the two cup finals under Klopp in 2016. Six years without any trophy is far too long for a club of Liverpool's stature. What a way to break the drought if they can do it with the most precious one of the lot. They always say as a team the hardest one to win is the first one and I truly believe if they can get the job done in Kiev then it will be the start of a real successful period for the club.

Bascombe: I remember when Liverpool won their fifth European Cup in Istanbul and I was reporting on it at the time. There was a sense that this is just the start but I'm of the view now just to enjoy the moment. Of itself that fifth European Cup just stands alone and there were plays, books, even films made about it! Number six would be exactly the same, you frame it, you celebrate it and you just remember it. For me, it doesn't matter what goes before it or comes after it, it's about that event, the final, the memories that will be created and the heroes that can emerge. Those stories are still to be written. History is written by the winners. If you don't win you certainly don't remember too much about Athens in 2007, there were no plays or films written about that particular final. There is a fine line between victory and failure but it makes such a huge difference. It's just about the night of May 26, the 90 minutes, enjoy it, embrace it, make it happen and make it another chapter in Liverpool's history.

King: We all remember what happened in 2005 - the buzz of winning in Istanbul lasted for months around the city and the noise in the first home game of the following Premier League season was remarkable. It was like the party had resumed. It did not become the catalyst, though, for a crack at the title. If Liverpool were to win in Kiev, that is where you would hope the difference would be.

Reade: In the short-term it would make the club a much more attractive proposition for attracting and retaining players this summer. Who wants to go to Manchester United, Spurs or Chelsea when you can play for the European champions? Why leave for Real Madrid when you have just beaten them in the biggest game of all? It would give current players the belief that if they can become champions of Europe why not champions of England, especially having beaten Manchester City three times this season. In the medium-term it would boost Liverpool's profits, increase their investment appeal and the size of their global fanbase. Closer to home, it would reduce the anxiety among fans about the lack of recent trophies.

Reddy: It would be too sizeable to properly explain - this isn't just a cup - it's the cup! A victory in the European final would be the greatest symbol of the progress Liverpool have made under Klopp and the upward trajectory they are on. It would undeniably bolster recruitment, commercial projects and all the elements off the pitch that would help the Reds advance on it. It would also give the players a taste of winning a major honour and what it means to the club and to the city - that feeling is irreplaceable and the motivation to make sure the habit of lifting silverware continues. Regardless of what happens in Kiev, though, no-one could argue with the impact Liverpool have made on the continent this season and the gigantic strides forward they've made in qualifying for next season's tournament while reaching the final now.

Palmer:I don't think you can make Liverpool any greater than it already is, if I'm being totally honest with you. It may help when Jürgen is trying to persuade the next top young player to move across Europe and join Liverpool. If you were joining the European champions or Champions League finalists then it adds another layer of veneer to the club. But for the fans it's just another Champions League trophy, the sixth one is at stake!

Hunter: When you have won the European Cup as many times as Liverpool I don't think it changes much in terms of the status of the club or the belief of the fans and what Europe means to Liverpool. I do think for this group of players it elevates and catapults them to a level that no-one would have seen coming at the start of the season. Whilst most people justifiably believe this is a team that is there for the long-term and can deliver for a long sustained period of time, to become European champions in such a relatively short space of time into Klopp's reign would have a major impact on the confidence, the belief within the group of players and will only push them further. I expect them to be up there challenging at the top of the Premier League next year but this would just push them on further. I think it lays down a marker for future Champions League campaigns. We already know, regardless of what happens in Kiev, that Liverpool are a team to be feared in Europe and if they could go back into the competition next year as defending champions it adds another level to that.

Dennis: In all honesty, it will only add to the trophy cabinet and boost the silverware. I think it was more important that Liverpool qualified for the top four to take the pressure off going to Kiev. I think it was more important to guarantee for the first time in a while that Liverpool have got back-to-back Champions League campaigns. If Liverpool weren't in the Champions League next season I think it would have potentially had a damaging effect on them. Knowing they will once again be in Europe's elite competition next season regardless if they win in Kiev means that they can still attract the players for next season. Liverpool's prestige and their image is already well known across football anyway, so if you add another European trophy to that success it will only enhance their success on the continent. It would have been a different ball game had they gone to Kiev needing a win to reach the Champions League next season.

Jones: For one it would break a drought, six years without a trophy. Liverpool haven't often gone six, seven or eight years without a trophy so it's important that ends as soon as possible. It also means they are a club that still deserves to be mentioned among the European greats, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. In the last seven or eight years Liverpool haven't been at that level and haven't been competing at that level so in terms of concerning the progress Klopp has made I think it would be a big step. It would show that not only are they playing nice football, not only have they got a few good players, not only they have a great crowd behind them, but also they are going to win stuff. There's nothing like winning for building momentum and we've seen it with Liverpool before I was born certainly. Momentum can build and build and all of a sudden you've got eras developing and that kind of thing. It's premature at the moment but it has got to start somewhere. Liverpool have had this run without a trophy and wouldn't it be perfect with the biggest one of all!

Maddock: Trophies provide confirmation that things are progressing. Look at Spurs and Pochettino, clearly, he's a top manager. But their inability to win a trophy, or even progress beyond a semi-final, provides room for doubt about him in some quarters. There really shouldn't be, and if he won something, the pressure would ease. That's the situation with Liverpool too. Winning the Champions League this season wouldn't be a fluke, they have been the best team in the competition. Lifting the trophy would confirm that, and would be massive in terms of confirming they have arrived at the top table of world football.

Mohamed Salah has earned so many plaudits for an incredible season – how surprised have you been by the impact he has made?

Pearce: I must admit, I've been amazed. You go back to last summer and I have to admit that I thought that Liverpool had taken a bit of a gamble. My main memories of Salah where his Chelsea days and the very limited opportunities that he had there, and I wondered whether he could handle the physicality of English football. He started the season so well and you think he can't possibly maintain these levels but he has! You run out of superlatives to describe him and it has just been an absolute joy to watch him every week. We are blessed to be watching one of the biggest talents on the planet.

Bascombe: Nobody would have predicted he would have the impact he has had. If you had said somebody was going to come in and score more goals than Luis Suarez then you would have taken that! Also to suggest he would score more league goals than Ian Rush, again incredible! When we saw him in pre-season he looked exciting. What excites you in any team is pace and the ability to finish. This is a guy so tricky and speedy, he's got that knack of scoring and finishing and you were thinking, 'how many is this guy going to get?' I don't think anyone would have thought he would get as many goals as he has. I don't think it will be a one-off either. I'm not sure he will be able to get 44-plus goals every season or more but if he's getting near 30 then that's good enough! You just hope that he will stay around the club for a long time and it won't go the same way as every time Liverpool get a superstar, someone tries to snatch him away. I get the feeling, though, with Mo Salah he has got some business to complete at Liverpool and beyond Kiev. This Champions League run has been extraordinary in terms of the reception he gets from the crowd, and you times that by 100 if he ever helps Liverpool win the Premier League title because I think that would be something else beyond even this.

King: I'm only too happy to admit I got it wrong where Salah is concerned. I thought Liverpool had overpaid for him and I was unsure whether he would be suited to the Premier League. His progress has been absolutely remarkable. He's a genuine icon now, this season will never be forgotten. If he was to score one more crucial goal, his place amongst the club legends would be secure.

Reade: Very. I don't remember anyone saying when he joined last summer that he would have a fraction of this impact. It seemed like a clever signing. His stats in Italy were highly encouraging, although it made you wonder why no other big club seriously rivalled Liverpool for his signature, and there were the doubts about his suitability to the Premier League after his failure to make an impact at Chelsea. To go on and smash the goalscoring records he is smashing, especially as a winger who hardly ever takes penalties, is simply stunning. He seems fated to have moved to this side under this manager at this point in his development. Salah meeting Liverpool in 2017 is the football version of Lennon meeting McCartney at a Woolton parish fete in 1957.

Reddy: When the transfer was concluded, I had termed it the 'signing of the season already' as I strongly believed the Egyptian would elevate Liverpool's already explosive attack, adding variety and speed. What he has done, though - the demolition of records and opposition defences - has exceeded all expectations. Everything has aligned for him at Anfield: a playing style that enhances his strengths, a manager that encourages an aggressive, front-foot approach and teammates that complement and cater to him. Salah has been a phenom and is deserving of every accolade that he has collected.

Palmer: As surprised as everybody else. We knew that he was a top player and he came with a big reputation from Roma. We knew he was going to be good but we didn't know he was going to be such a natural goalscorer. He has obviously taken himself to another level since joining Liverpool. Normally you expect a new player to take half a season to get going, the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez had. But he has hit the ground, not running but sprinting like an Olympic sprinter.

Hunter: Stunned because most people who watch Liverpool, unless you paid seriously close attention to his displays at AS Roma, knew him from a bit-part role at Chelsea. In pre-season he immediately looked good. By the end of the summer once the Neymar deal had transformed the whole financial landscape of the window it wasn't long before you started to think what an astute purchase Mo Salah was. Again, I go back to Klopp and by pushing him further forward and relieving him of some of the defensive duties that certainly Firmino has and Mane has to a degree, it has allowed him to focus on his greatest strength, which is finishing. That has got more out of him but as Klopp has said himself, we didn't see him getting 44 goals so far! If Klopp didn't see it coming then no-one else can say they did.

Dennis: Everybody has been surprised because when you look at how many goals he has scored and you look back and see only Ian Rush has netted more for Liverpool in a season, that tells you everything. It is absolutely astonishing! Some of his goals have been Messi-esque, that late goal against Tottenham at Anfield and the fact he has thrived in a front three with Firmino and Mane. When everybody realised that Coutinho was leaving Liverpool people were wondering what would happen but they have just kicked on in his absence and I think that speaks volumes for the way that the players have performed.

Jones: Surprised at the heights he has reached. I think I'm more surprised how consistently he has done it because I did think when he signed, and I had watched a bit of him at Roma, this guy scores goals. I wasn't surprised that he was dangerous because I watched him in pre-season and thought he was going to add something to this team. With a player you expect them to drop off at some point in the season for a bit but he has literally just been at a higher level from the word go onwards. Earlier on in the season I thought he was going to have to be a bit more varied and he couldn't score goals with his left foot all of the time, because defenders get wise and there is a lot of information that goes into Premier League planning and they know how to set their teams up. With Salah, teams have tried lots of different things against him but he's carried on performing and carried on scoring. Even players like Luis Suarez and Michael Owen had little hot spells and a dry spell, but Salah has just been on it right from the word go. That has been the biggest surprise and the biggest bonus for Liverpool because I think they fancied he would score 20 this season but he has doubled that!

Maddock: Well, look at his value last summer to what he is worth now. Last summer people were suggesting he was overpriced at £35m, now he'd go for a Neymar-level fee... and certainly more than Coutinho. So yeah, how could you not be surprised, not one person on the planet could have predicted he'd turn into Ian Rush crossed with John Barnes. Not even him.

How tough is the threat posed by Real Madrid?

Pearce: Certainly it is a massive challenge but I don't think it's an all-time great Real Madrid team and I don't think they are as strong as they were years ago. The massive thing going into this game is the last time Liverpool played Real Madrid there was an inferiority complex. There was almost a feeling that 'we can't really compete with Real Madrid' and you almost sensed it was a feeling that it was just an honour to be on the same pitch as them. This time it feels so different. Liverpool are there on merit. They have absolutely lit up the Champions League this season and they've proved that they belong on this big stage. You look every step of the way, what they did to Manchester City home and away, this team is fearless. The fact that Real Madrid have been to the last two finals and won them both is an advantage of sorts for them but what excites me is the fact that there's been so many questions asked of this Liverpool team this season and every time when the stakes have been high they have come up with the answers.

Bascombe: Unbelievably tough. I saw such rubbish when the two teams got to the final and people were saying Real Madrid might not be favourites. That is nonsense. They have won it two in a row and are going for an unprecedented hat-trick under Zinedine Zidane. They have got the nous, experience, they will be relaxed. In many ways they have pressure on them but they know to handle the occasion and they have got Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of the greatest players to ever kick a football. They also have Gareth Bale, who is so destructive whenever he plays, and you go through the rest of their team and it's a list of greatest players of their generation. This is the ultimate test for any team, to beat Real Madrid in the European Cup final. It doesn't matter how they have done in La Liga this season, Real Madrid are defined by the Champions League. There's only two teams in Europe, in my view, who provide the ultimate test in a European Cup final and that's Barcelona and Real Madrid. It's a formidable task for Liverpool but I think we know how they will go about it. They won't be going there to defend and sneak a 1-0 win, they will be going there to have a go and it will make for a thrilling final.

King: It's a huge threat, the biggest in the competition. People keep saying that Madrid are not the side of old yet they have still knocked out the champions of France, Italy and Germany en route to Kiev and Cristiano Ronaldo isn't bad, is he? They have won the Champions League three times in four years for a reason. Liverpool will have to get to a level they haven't reached before to beat them.

Reade: Really tough. You don't win three of the last four Champions Leagues, especially in this era of mega-rich clubs, without being very good and having what it takes physically and mentally to triumph in this competition. It's the equivalent of facing Liverpool in the midst of their multiple European Cup-winning years, when even if they'd failed to win their domestic title they had a sense of destiny about the big one. Plus it goes without saying that with an attack comprising Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale, they can be lethal if they're on their game.

Reddy: They have won three of the last four finals - the three they were involved in - and I think that basically sums up what Liverpool are up against; a team well versed in doing what they need to in order to triumph, even when they're nowhere close to the peak of their powers. The last team to beat the Spanish giants in the climax of the competition was... Liverpool in 1981. Since then, they have lifted Big Ears six times. They have strength in all departments and, importantly, have a sense of calm even when the game is not in their control.

Palmer: Very, very tough. It's a team that is made for winning the Champions League, as they have done the last two years. It's a team that owes the manager Zinedine Zidane for playing below par this season. It's a team that owes their supporters as well. We are talking about the potential of Liverpool of winning a sixth elite European trophy but with Real we are talking about the 13th! Zidane is hoping to be the manager to win the European Cup three times in a row. That would take him to an elite level in this modern era. We know about Bob Paisley of course and what Carlo Ancelotti has done before but to win it three years in a row would be exceptional. They are a team that has been built and primed for this game.

Hunter: Massive. I don't think Real Madrid have impressed to the extent that Liverpool have during this Champions League campaign, but I think the know-how of three titles in four seasons is huge and cannot be underestimated at all. It is practically the same team that has turned up, and they do turn up in these Champions League finals. It's practically the same group of players who have done it time and time again when it matters and Liverpool haven't. On Champions League form this season Liverpool have been far more impressive but I just don't think you can in any way think that counteracts the experience that Real Madrid have got. They know how to win.

Dennis: If you look back to last season everyone was saying they are a team in decline. As the competition has gone on Real Madrid have got stronger so they will be a threat because they just seem to have this know-how. The worrying thing from a Liverpool point of view, and I was actually there at the Bernabeu for the second leg of the semi-final, is they didn't play very well against Bayern Munich but still won. In fact, Bayern over the two legs were the better team. You just wonder whether Real are saving their very best until last. They have got big-game players who have proven time and time again that they can deliver on the big stage. What I would say is Liverpool can beat them and Real do have weaknesses. It is going to be a fantastic final and while Real Madrid may be seen as the favourites, Liverpool have every chance.

Jones: They are European royalty and they are the cream really. They have had a poor season in La Liga by their standards but it's all about the benchmark for a European club and they are the benchmark. They are a team of winners, you go through it one to 11, Ronaldo is obviously the jewel in the crown but you look at the medals these players have won, people like Sergio Ramos and Marcelo – what hasn't he won? Toni Kroos a World Cup winner, Gareth Bale and his quality, Karim Benzema, every single Real Madrid player is of an incredible high standard. You talk about Liverpool testing themselves against the best in Europe, well they are the best in Europe. They've shown it, they defended the trophy last season and now they are going for three in a row. It would be the first time since 1976 that anyone has won three in a row and that tells you everything you need to know. I do think there are things potentially that Liverpool can get out of them but if Real Madrid perform as they have on the big stage then it is going to be a massive test for Liverpool.

Maddock: Not very - they're rubbish! No, of course, they may not be the team they were a year ago, but they have knowledge, which is vital in a final. Experience tends to rank above even form in big games, and they're going for a treble in the Champions League. So few teams in history have done that, which shows how dangerous they will be.

How do Liverpool go about trying to nullify the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo?

Pearce: I think it's a difficult one because you would imagine the battle will be between him and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Of course that is going to be one of the key battles but I just don't think it's in this Liverpool team's nature to be set up purely to look to stop one opponent. Liverpool have got to this stage playing this fearless brand of attacking football. Yes, we've got to pay Ronaldo a huge amount of respect because he's been one of the best players on the planet for the last 10 years or more, but I don't think you can get too occupied with that. Trent has blown everyone away this season, just the attitude and maturity he has showed along with his talent, so I'm not worried about him being daunted by the occasion. The other side of the coin is with this Real Madrid team it's certainly not going to be a cagey final the way that they play and the way Liverpool play. I don't think either side will be too focused on the other team's strengths as they will back their own qualities.

Bascombe: I think they will go about it by making Real Madrid worry about how to nullify the threat of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Salah and let's see who scores the most goals! You could say the defence that comes out on top will win the game because there is going to be goals, whether it be 3-2, 4-3 or whatever. I think that's what has been so refreshing about this Liverpool side, that they will just try and impose their own strengths and then see who comes out on top. It was similar against Manchester City. I actually think these type of teams like Real Madrid, City and the like who come out and play and go toe to toe, is what Klopp wants. The teams that have caused Liverpool most bother like Manchester United and Atletico Madrid in pre-season, Chelsea, are a bit more negative and want to turn the game into these little individual duels around the pitch to stop Liverpool's attackers, and they succeeded in some parts. Liverpool's idea is to make these individual duels about imposing yourself in an attacking sense and I think Real Madrid's philosophy is pretty much the same. I think that's why everyone expects it to be such a great final.

King: If Klopp did something different for this one game, such as setting up to try and stifle Ronaldo and company, he would betray his philosophy and confuse his players. Liverpool have progressed at such a rate because Klopp has asked his team to play their own game rather than thinking about what the opposition do. They will do the same again.

Reade: Show him Trent Alexander-Arnold's pocket.

Palmer: The best way to stop Ronaldo is not to allow Real possession and dominate. You let Ronaldo have the ball then he, Bale, Benzema, Asensio, Isco and all their creative players have the potential to beat any team in the world individually. When the best teams in Spain have stopped Real Madrid it's because they have had more possession. Real can go into a defensive mode and sit back but Liverpool have to attack them.

Reddy: The competition's all-time top scorer and the first to net in three finals - not the easiest task to keep him quiet as even when he is off-colour, he can still deliver decisive moments. The aim would be to thwart supply to him and double up if needs be. Virgil van Dijk will be confident of cutting out set-piece deliveries aerially, but I don't think Liverpool will get too obsessed by Cristiano when there is a wealth of other brilliant individuals to nullify. The objective would be to hamper Real as a collective.

Hunter: They have just got to play their own game and I don't think they will make concessions for Ronaldo in any way. Liverpool will be looking to do what they have done to every other team in the Champions League this season and blitz them! I think that could be key to the outcome if Liverpool get that 10 to 15-minute spell when they can score a couple of goals and put the game beyond reach of their opponent. The way Liverpool's defence has improved in the second part of the season since the signing of Van Dijk will give them more of an assurance and a confidence that they would have had prior to his arrival.

Dennis: Ronaldo against Bayern Munich didn't have a shot on target in the first leg, which is the first time since February 2017 in the Champions League he hasn't done that since they played Napoli. He also had very little impact at the Bernabeu against Bayern Munich in the second leg. He might not have the same pace he once had but what he still has is know-how. His scoring record in the competition this season is frightening. Up until the quarter-finals he had scored in every round. They have got other players who can hurt Liverpool, Benzema, Kroos in the midfield so they will have to keep an eye on him. Ronaldo's record deserves respect but then equally Liverpool have Salah, whose record will equally be sending shivers down the spines of the Real Madrid supporters.

Jones: If I had the answer to that one I would be earning a lot of money coaching! It's so difficult because he's not the same Ronaldo we associated in his younger years. He is not the spectacular runner and dribbling past people for fun, but he is far more now a penalty-box player and a goalscorer. He's a great finisher and he is great in the air. I think the big thing for Liverpool is concentration. Ronaldo is so good at making the darting runs and getting into the penalty area and we've seen him score spectacular overhead kicks during this tournament. He is a special player. I think Liverpool will have to be brilliant in the full-back areas, not necessarily to just stop Ronaldo but to stop the supply line and stop the likes of Marcelo and Bale or Dani Carvajal getting into good positions to get crosses in, because I think Benzema and Ronaldo thrive on those positions so Liverpool have got to be really switched on both in the three midfield positions and certainly the full-back areas. Listen, we've seen Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson handle big players this season. Trent had Leroy Sane in his back pocket and Robertson did the same with Raheem Sterling. It's a bigger test with Ronaldo, one of the world's best, but if Liverpool are on it then they've got a chance.

Maddock: He's not the player he was. He doesn't have the pace to instantly go away from opponents anymore, but he does have that ability to produce moments still. If they create chances he'll take them, which is the key to a final of course. Both teams will have chances, the most clinical will win and again, he has that experience. Perhaps the question should be about the threat of Marcelo, though, because he'll bomb forward and try to get two-on-one with Trent, which is what Roma did in the second leg of the semi-final.

Stay logged on to Liverpoolfc.com for part two of our chat with the press ahead of Saturday's Champions League final.