Despite being heralded as one of the best defenders on the planet, McAteer claims that the hot-headedness of the Madrid captain could see him sent off early in the game; but is also aware that he could just as easily win Madrid the match.
“Up front is where it’s going to be won or lost,” claims McAteer, speaking exclusively to 888Sport.
“Attacking-wise both teams have arguably the best front threes in Europe. The goals they score and create both teams are up there with the best this season.
“Their Achilles heels are at the back. Van Dijk has been brilliant since he’s come in and calmed things down so defensively they look more solid but I still think there’s a mistake in them.
“Madrid though are the same. I love Varane – I think he’s a Rolls Royce – but alongside him is a ticking time-bomb and you just don’t know what you’re going to get from Ramos. He could smash Firmino, Salah and Mane in the first minute, get a booking then get sent off ten minutes later or he could come up for a corner and get the winner. You just don’t know with him.”
“He can get dragged into areas he doesn’t want to be in and Firmino is clever and drops into holes and pulls players away to create space for Mane and Salah. That could be a game-changer if that happens because Ramos is prone to switching off and drifting.”