Tottenham and Liverpool meet in the final of Europe’s biggest footballing prize on Saturday. Both teams earned a place in Madrid thanks to second-leg matches that will go down in the history books.
Liverpool overturning a 3-0 deficit against Barcelona while Lucas Moura scored a 96th-minute winner in Amsterdam to send his side through on the away goals ruling. So, the only question left to answer is who will lift the trophy come Saturday? Let’s break it down.
Head to Head
First, let’s take a look at how these teams fared against each other in the 2019 Premier League campaign. They met not so long ago at Anfield on the last day of March, with Liverpool taking all three points in a 2-1 victory. Liverpool also took the win in the reverse fixture at the beginning of the season by the same scoreline. The good news for neutrals is that you have to go back to October of 2015 to find the last time these teams had a kick around that ended in a scoreless draw.
Champions League Form
Both teams did not have an easy ride to the Final. While Spurs also had to take earlier trips to Barcelona, Liverpool had to take on the likes of PSG. The result is that neither team could top their group. They then brushed off German opposition before Liverpool enjoyed a 6-1 mulling of Porto in the quarter-final. On the other hand, Tottenham had to fend off Manchester City 4-4 on the first of their successive away-goal successes. Tottenham’s recent experience at facing another English side in the competition may even play a part in the final outcome.
Their Champions League form may not give too much away, but it is clear that both teams have enjoyed high scoring and experienced few clean sheets. Punters may be looking at over 2.5 goals scored bets, rather than taking a chance on who will win.
Liverpool outshines Tottenham when it comes to Champions League experience. This is Spurs’ first appearance at a Champions League Final, compared to Liverpool’s previous eight. At those eight finals, they have conquered five times with the most notable when Rafa Benitez’s reds came back from 3-0 down in Istanbul.
A Word on Salah
Many fans have pointed to the fact that Liverpool’s talisman is currently fasting for religious reasons, namely Ramadan. However, it has been reported that Mohamed Salah will be breaking his usual routine in preparation for the final, meaning he will now take on fluids and calories/energy in the lead up to the game.
Anything Can Happen
These are the facts and stats leading up to the big game, but football – as the second legs in both semi-finals proved -is an unpredictable game. It may come down to one mistake or one moment of brilliance. The neutrals will be hoping for drama similar to what they witnessed in the last round. Liverpool may have more experience and a mental advantage due to recent victories over Spurs, but only time will tell.