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UCL Final Predictions: Former Winners Back Real Madrid But Michael Owen Tips Liverpool

The bookmakers have made Liverpool favorites to win the 2022 UEFA Champions League final but a lot of former players are backing Real Madrid.

History favors Madrid, who have been European champions 13 times, compared to Liverpool's six titles.

But will Real's current crop be able to handle Jurgen Klopp's Reds, who have been dominant in Europe this season with an average possession share of 60.1 per cent?

Yes, according to former champions Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Claude Makelele.

The trio gave their predictions to UEFA.com this week and all of them tipped Real to lift the trophy on Saturday night at the Stade de France.

But Michael Owen - who played for both Liverpool and Madrid during his career - told the Daily Mail that he thinks the English club will prevail in Paris.

Champions League Final Predictions

Patrice Evra says Real to win on penalties (after a 1-1 draw)

Evra, who was a European champion with Manchester United in 2008, said: "It's a tough one. I'm not someone who likes making predictions, but I hope Madrid will win. It'll be difficult as Liverpool aren't bad in finals, but the same goes for Madrid.

"It hurts me to say it, but Liverpool would deserve it after the season they've had. Madrid caused so much surprise with their comebacks against Paris and Manchester City, and anything can happen in a single game with Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema and a big performance from Luka Modric.

"It's going to be a great final. I'll say Madrid to win it on penalties."

Rio Ferdinand says Real to win 2-1

Ferdinand played alongside Evra in United's 2008 team of European champions.

He said: "I am going to go for Real Madrid to win; I'm going with my heart, with my head, everything.

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"I think their name's written on it; I bet against them every single knockout round previously and they have smashed me so I'm going to go with them this time. They've beaten Chelsea, who I said they'd lose to, they've beaten Paris Saint-Germain, who I said they'd lose to, and Man City, who I said they'd lose to, so I'm going to go with Real Madrid.

"I think that [goalkeeper Thibaut] Courtois has to play well for Madrid to win this competition and I think that he's going to be the difference between the two sides. He'll keep Liverpool out and Real Madrid will score late on."

A giant inflatable trophy is pictured on display in Paris ahead of the 2022 Champions League final at the Stade de France

A giant inflatable trophy is pictured on display in Paris ahead of the 2022 Champions League final at the Stade de France

Claude Makelele says 3-2 to Real Madrid

Makelele played for Real from 2000 to 2003 and was a Champions League winner with them in 2002.

His prediction was very specific as he backed Karim Benzema, Rodrygo and Luka Modric to score against Liverpool.

He added: "It will be difficult. Both managers are very good. I think it will depend on the players.

"Both teams have experienced players, leadership players also, and I think the advantage is for Madrid. It's a club that was born to win the Champions League; we have seen that for many years."

Michael Owen says 3-0 or 3-1 to Liverpool

Owen said: "I think Liverpool are better than Madrid and they could blow them away. 3-1 or 3-0 is my prediction.

"I think they could beat them reasonably convincingly because they are an exceptional team at the minute and are too good for Madrid."

Owen added: "Madrid have just done phenomenally well to get to the final.

"I'm sure they believe their name is on the title what with scrapping through the group stage and then of course Chelsea was incredible how they got through that. Manchester City was just mind-blowing how they beat them as well.

"But I think Liverpool are so experienced and so good. They won't want to get into a grind with them because I think Madrid are the ultimate team when it comes to know-how and winning close games."