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It has been 11 years since two English clubs met in UEFA Champions League final when Manchester United beat Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the regular time in 2008. The stage is set again as the world will witness the dominance of English football when Liverpool takes on Spurs in UEFA champions league final in Madrid.
The Reds are seeking their sixth UEFA championship title. They registered a memorable win by beating A.C. Milan 3-2 on penalties back in 2005, whereas Tottenham will play their first champions league final. The Lilywhites previous best performance came in 2011 season when they made up to last eight.
What is the Schedule?
When: Saturday, June 1 8 PM BST
Sunday, June 2 (India) 12:30 AM IST
Where: Wanda Metropolitano Stadium
How they Booked a place in the Final?
It's has been a miraculous journey for Tottenham so far. They easily defeated Borrusia Dortmund by 4-0 in Round of 16. The Lilywhites turned the tables by defeating favorites Manchester city in a 4-4 thrilling encounter, with an away goal victory in Quater Finals. Spurs surprised everyone again in Semi-Finals. They were trailing by two goals in the first half, but Spurs came back from the dead by scoring three goals in the second half. All respect goes to Lucas Moura who scored 95th-minute stunner hattrick sinking Ajax to take Tottenham to Final in Madrid.
Liverpool registered a comfortable 3-1 win over Bayern in Round of 16. It was a piece of cake for The Merseysiders to beat F.C Porto 6-1 on aggregate in Quater-Finals. Liverpool had a test of nerves facing F.C. Barcelona in Semi-Finals. The Reds suffered 0-3 heavy defeat in the first leg at Camp Nou. However, Klopp's troops made the biggest comebacks of UCL history by outclassing F.C. Barcelona in the second meeting at Anfield. Liverpool destroyed the title favorites by firing four goals in quick succession The Reds defeated Blaugrana 4-3 on aggregate and sealed their spot in final again in two successive years.
Head to Head Scenario
The Reds and The Lilywhites have faced each other five times in Premier League since 2017. Liverpool has won three times, defeating Spurs 2-0 in 2017 and twice in 2018 with a 2-1 score on both occasions. Spurs have registered only one 4-1 win in 2017. One clash ended in a 2-2 draw in 2018.
Looking at overall records, Liverpool statically holds an advantage over Spurs. The Merseysiders and The Lilywhites have faced each other 105 times. The Reds have secured wins on 53 occasions while Spurs have managed to win only 28 times while 24 games ended in a draw. Tottenham has secured only one win against Reds in last 14 encounters.
Injury and Team News
Jan Vertonghen suffered a head injury in the first leg vs. Ajax when he collided with fellow teammate, Alderweireld, and Ajax Keeper Andre Onana to win the ball. He suffered a severe injury with his shirt covered in blood. Some reports suggest he suffered a right ankle injury during the celebration after Lucas Moura late Stoppage time winner.
The Belgian took part in a team training session and indicated that he is fit enough to start against Liverpool on June 1.
Harry Kane suffered lateral ligament damage in his left ankle while he slipped in the clash against City in first leg Quarter-Finals. After recovery, Kane said," I feel good; there have been no problems so far." On being asked about his inclusion in starting eleven, he stated, "It's down to the manager. The manager will assess it and decide whether I'm ready to go or not, but, so far, I feel good and ready."
Other players who are sidelined due to injury include the likes of Harry Winks and Davidson Sanchez. They are progressing to their best as they featured in the team training sessions.
Predicted Starting XI
- Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris
- Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose
- Midfielders: Moussa Sissoko, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen
- Forwards: Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min, Harry Kane
Roberto Fermino suffered muscular injury in training. He was substituted in the first leg against Barcelona. He returned to training and participated in the first session of the squad's pre-final camp in Marbella. It is still uncertain whether he will make in starting XI. Klopp made it clear as he stated: "If he doesn't make it, it's likely Divock Origi will start in his place."
Naby Keita suffered a high-grade adductor injury at Camp Nou against Barcelona. The Medical staff has made it clear that he would not be able to feature in Champions League final. Klopp said, "Naby is, I would say, a bit ahead of schedule, but that doesn't mean anything for the final. If he is not 100 percent fit, he cannot play. That's how it is. It is not important whether you play for your country or your club."
Mohammed Salah was knocked down after a collision with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in pursuit to compete for a ball during Liverpool's dramatic 3-2 Premier League over Newcastle. Salah lay motionless on the St James' Park. Salah has made progress on injury and expected to feature in starting eleven.
Predicted Starting XI
- GoalKeeper: Alisson
- Defenders: Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson
- Midfielders: Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson
- Forwards: Mane, Salah, Origi/Fermino
Klopp vs. Pochettino: Battle of the Brains
The Champions League final will be the 10th meeting between the managers since Klopp took charge of Liverpool in 2015. Out of the nine clashes, Jürgen has won four and lost only on one occasion while four matches ended in all square. It will be the war of wits when Pochettino' philosophy of dynamic attacking play counters Klopp's Gegenpressing tactical theory.
What are the expectations?
Liverpool is clear favorites to lift the European trophy. Klopp's troops are high on energy after resurrection against Barcelona. They had splendid Premier League season with only one defeat in the season. The Reds would look forward to leaving behind the demise of lifting P.L. title and give everything to be crowned European Champions. The Merseysiders would like to capitalize on the opportunity to raise the Cup, which they missed last year when Los Blancos defeated them in the final.
Tottenham side has played competitive football in recent times. It would not be wrong to say that the Luck Factor is walking with The Lilywhites. They managed a narrow escape against Man City in the Quarterfinals. The Spurs made an astonishing comeback against Ajax in Semi Final. If they succeed in lifting the Cup, then it would be a Touchstone in Club's history and something to remember for decades.
Whatever may be the result, one thing is sure that the world is about to witness the dominance of English football in Europe.