In a little over 24-hours’ time, the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid will host the 64th Final of European’s Premier Cup competition and the 27th Final since the tournament was rebranded as the Champions League nearly 3 decades ago.
The 2018/19 Final between Tottenham and Liverpool is only the second all-English climactic fixture of the competition since it’s original inception in 1955, and it sets up a mouth-watering local skirmish on a continental battleground in the Spanish capital.
There is no denying that Liverpool have been absolutely sensational this season, and it’s quite incredible to think that Jurgen Klopp’s men could actually finish the campaign without a trophy to their name.
They became the best runners up in Premier League history as the unstoppable Manchester City retained the title, and early exits from the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup ensured that domestic cups weren’t on the agenda.
Now, few weeks after their 2-0 win over Wolves on the final day of the Premier League season, they have a chance to make all this slick play worthwhile. A Champions League trophy would do a very good job of softening the blow after their Premier League disappointment, but their opponents in Madrid will have something to say about that.
Tottenham Hotspur produced a remarkable comeback in the semi-final of the Champions League. Heading into the final 45 minutes of the two-legged tie, Spurs were trailing 2-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate. Extraordinarily, Lucas Moura sealed a hat-trick with almost the last kick of the game to eliminate the young guns of Ajax.
Between that, Liverpool’s equally impressive comeback against Barcelona 24 hours earlier, Spurs’ absurd aggregate win over Manchester City, and Manchester United’s comeback against PSG earlier in the competition, it’s safe to say that this has been a Champions League campaign to remember.
We’re expecting another good match in Madrid too. Both teams have players capable of punishing defences.
These two sides have a history of entertainment too. Both teams have scored in seven of their last eight encounters, and with each of the last eight Champions League Finals also seeing both teams find the net, we’re expecting big things from this match.
Liverpool have to be considered the very strong favourites though. Klopp’s juggernaut of a team have beaten Spurs 2-1 both home and away in the Premier League this season, and their triumph over Wolves last time out made it 13 wins from their last 14 competitive matches.
Spurs, on the other hand, have slumped towards the end of the season. They have lost five of their last eight games in all competitions and won just twice, and they lost a remarkable 13 times in the league this season. To put that into perspective, Birmingham lost 15 times in the 2010/11 campaign and ended up being relegated.
While Mohamed Salah is the main attraction for many Liverpool fans, Sadio Mane is where the value lies in the anytime goalscorer market. The Senegalese attacker has scored 26 goals for Liverpool this season, four of which came in the Champions League. He has netted six goals in his last eight appearances in all competitions, so we’re backing him to get on the score-sheet in Madrid.