After ten months of surprise comebacks and controversial VAR decisions, Premier League rivals – Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool now do battle in the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League Final at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Liverpool are going for their first European title since winning this competition in 2005 and their 12th overall across all UEFA competitions.
Tottenham meanwhile are going for their first Champions League title despite winning three lower level UEFA competitions between 1963-84.
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Harry Kane is set to start for Tottenham Hotspur for the first time since limping out of their Quarter-Final first leg win over Manchester City with ankle ligament damage.
Jan Vertonghen (ankle), Danny Rose (thigh) and Dele Alli (fatigue) are also available whilst slight doubts linger over the fitness of Davidson Sanchez (thigh) and Harry Winks (groin).
Liverpool will welcome Robert Firmino back from a groin injury whilst Andrew Robertson is also available despite struggling with a calf strain against Barcelona then Wolverhampton Wanderers a few weeks ago.
Naby Keita however is ruled out with an adductor injury which he suffered in their semi-final first leg at the Nou Camp.
- This is the first Champions League clash between Tottenham and Liverpool, although both did meet in Semi-Finals of 1972-73 UEFA Cup, which the Reds won on away goals after a 2-2 draw on aggregate.
- Tottenham have won just one of their last 14 meetings with Liverpool in all competitions (W1, D4, L9).
- During that run, at least one team has scored in all but one of those games which finished goalless during a Premier League clash in October 2015.
- Liverpool have scored twice in four of last five meetings with only exception being a 4-1 defeat at Wembley in October 2017.
- Mauricio Pochettino has won two of three Cup finals which he participated in, with both victories coming as a player with Espanyol in the Copa del Rey whilst he oversaw Spurs to the runners-up spot in 2014-15 edition of League Cup.
- Jurgen Klopp has lost all three of his previous Finals in UEFA competitions as a manager, with his last two such defeats coming against Spanish opposition in Sevilla (2015-16 Europa League) and Real Madrid (2017-18 Champions League).
- Since the Champions League began in 1992-93 season, only two teams have lost consecutive finals – Juventus (1997 & 98) and Valencia (2000 & 01).
Given how hard both teams have had to fight just to get out of the group stage let alone to Madrid, I am expecting a competitive Final between two great teams who have a chance to end their seasons with the greatest trophy on offer.
For me, much of this hinges on Spurs’ defence because we have seen Pochettino tinker in recent weeks with the backline to mixed success but I fancy him to go for a typical back four now Kane is available again with a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Liverpool however look extremely dangerous all over the pitch so am going for a Reds win because their quality partnerships down the flanks will surely be impossible to silence for the entire match plus extra time.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Liverpool
Result: Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Liverpool