UEFA Champions League 2018/19 – Liverpool v Tottenham
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano stadium, Madrid
Date: Saturday, 1st June 2019
Kick-off: 8 PM BST
TV channel: BT Sport
Liverpool and Tottenham meet each other in an all English UEFA Champions League final in Madrid after making one of the most memorable European comebacks of all time.
Liverpool were already on the backfoot when they were facing Barcelona without the likes of Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino. The Reds needed to score four goals to progress to the final which looked almost impossible ,but, then came Jurgen Klopp with a master plan and smashed Barcelona 4-0 to knock them out of the Champions League.
Meanwhile, Tottenham’s journey has been quite remarkable. They were the only team in this season’s Champions League to not spend a single penny on transfers and look where they are now. Spurs have set an example on how money is not everything, you need heart to achieve the unthinkable. Spurs trailed 3-0 to Ajax at half-time in the second leg of the semi-finals. Pochettino’s half time team talk did the trick as Lucas Moura grabbed a hattrick including an injury time winner to send Spurs one step closer of making history.
Roberto Firmino is expected to make it in time for the Champions League final after the Brazilian missed the classic comeback against Barcelona due to a groin injury.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana have recovered well but are a bit rusty and could not be risked in a final.
Naby Keita remains sidelined with a serious groin injury and faces a race against time to be fit for pre-season.
Spurs captain Harry Kane is confident he’ll be fit for the final after being sidelined with a ligament injury in early April. Kane was thought to have his season ended but the England captain has recovered earlier than expected. However, Mauricio Pochettino has a decision to make regarding Kane as the match could go to extra time and penalties whereas that increases the risk of injuries.
Harry Winks is also hopeful to be in contention for the final as he steps up his recovery. Danny Rose (thigh),Jan Vertonghen (ankle) and Davison Sanchez (thigh) missed the final gameweek of the Premier League with minor injuries but are set to feature in the final in Madrid.
This will be the first time Liverpool and Tottenham will face each other in an official UEFA competition.
Liverpool and Spurs have met 172 times in the Premier League with the Reds dominating with 82 victories. Spurs have won 48 times and both teams have shared points on 42 occasions.
A positive trait in this Liverpool side is that they don’t have a single goal-scorer who scores all the goals and instead have a number of players who can provide the goal threat. In the forward trio of Salah, Firmino and Mane if one of them is out of form, the other two step up and bang in the goals. Even the midfielders have the ability to contribute important goals.
For Spurs, Harry Kane is the main man who scores most of the goals but Tottenham have proved that they’re not a one-man team as they have continued to play well and score even in the absence of Harry Kane. Spurs don’t have a number of players who can score but they have a few goal-scorers who are consistent.
Liverpool have had quite the season in the Premier League as they scored 97 points but somehow didn’t manage to win it. Spurs on the other hand, have had a disastrous second half in the league and are lucky to finish 4th but their Champions League form has been outstanding, beating the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Man City and Ajax to reach the final.
Liverpool have conceded a goal every 90 minutes in the Champions League this season which is quiet remarkable considering the level of the competition. Meanwhile Tottenham’s defense has been broken down more times as compared to Liverpool but it’s decent considering the quality of teams they have played against.
Spurs rank third in total attempts on goal and Liverpool rank 5th in total attempts in the Champions League who shows they’re not the team to park the bus.
Liverpool last 5 matches(in all competitions) : W/L/W/W/W
Tottenham last 5 matches (in all competitions) : L/L/L/W/D
Liverpool look slight favorites heading into this clash after their incredible league season and also more Champions League experience. Liverpool have learnt a lot since last year’s Champions League final against Real Madrid. However, Spurs cannot be counted out of the equation yet as they have Harry Kane returning early from injury to lead the North London side. This games looks like it is destined to go to penalties and with two of the best attacking-minded football teams playing for the most valuable trophy in club football, you can’t expect a quiet match.