Right-back: Daniel Carvajal
A solid option with loads of experience despite being only 26 years old, Dani Carvajal already has 3 Champions League titles under his belt. He performances tend to be overshadowed by the flashy plays on the team but he has proven reliable and become a mainstay in this Madrid team.
Young Trent Alexander-Arnold has had a breakthrough season culminating in his inclusion in England's World Cup squad. He still has a few kinks to iron out defensively to achieve the level of consistency of Carvajal.
Centre-back: Sergio Ramos
The man for the big occasion. Considered by many people as one of the best defenders in the world, Ramos always seems to step up when Madrid need a crucial late goal. A big threat from set-pieces, Ramos has earned praise for his eye for goal. He is also key on the defensive end as was evidenced in the semi-final against Bayern Munich where Lewandowski and Muller were marked out of the game.
His ability on the ball is also very impressive averaging a pass success rate of 92.1% in the Champions League this season. His discipline, however, still remains a matter of concern though he surprisingly has not been sent off in Europe this season.
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk
The Dutchman has been a colossal presence for the Reds since arriving in the winter transfer window. He has justified his record fee for a defender by putting in almost effortless shifts in defence winning the ball in the air and on the ground and displaying fantastic ability with the ball at his feet.
His calming presence has also helped settle those playing in defence around him. He has averaged an impressive 7.6 clearances per game while winning an impressive 4.2 aerial duels per game.
Andy Robertson has been a revelation for Liverpool since claiming the starting spot and his exclusion from this lineup is one of the more difficult choices. He has averaged a very impressive 4.4 clearances per game in the UCL this season after all. He is kept out of the team by a man considered by many to be the best left-back in the world, Marcelo.
The Brazilian likes to play on the front foot and does much of his damage on the offensive end as evidenced by his 3 goals and 2 assists in Europe this season. His almost telepathic understanding with Ronaldo should concern Liverpool but he would also need to be up to defensive duties against the Reds.Published 17 May 2018, 20:28 IST