UEFA Champions League final
Tottenham Hotspurs vs Liverpool
Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
It is finally here! The final of thge UEFA Champions League will be contested at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday evening.
For the 7th time, two clubs from the same country will battle for a right to become the champions of Europe. It is Spurs first ever final and are trying to become only the second club from London to win the Champions League after Chelsea did likewise in 2013.
For Liverpool, they have been here before and done it all. However, they lost last year’s final to Real Madrid and have not lifted the ‘Big Ears’ since 2015 when they produced arguably the greatest comeback in the competitions hitsory.
Both teams have injury doubts hanging over their main strikers. Both Spurs’ Harry Kane and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino have been nursing injuries in the buildup game and it remains to be seen if they will both be thrown in at the start. Kane has returned to training having not played since the first leg of the quarter-final due to an ankle injury.
Harry Winks is also pushing to be fit in time for the final after undergoing groin surgery last month, while Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose are expected to have overcome minor fitness issues.
For Liverpool, Georginio Wijnaldum changed the game when he came off the bench against Barcelona and should have done enough to earn a starting role in midfield. Naby Keita is definitely sidelined, but Andrew Robertson has overcome a calf problem and should start in a team which could only see one change from the semi-final second leg.
What they are saying
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager, on losing six finals
“All the circumstances were different, the teams were different.
“If I were the reason for losing six finals then everyone needs to worry. Last year was a world-class goal and two strange goals we normally don’t concede which defeated us.
“My career so far is not unlucky. I haven’t a problem with my career. My wife always asks me when the final game of the season is because since 2012, apart from 2017, my teams have been in finals.
“I don’t see myself as a loser and we would have a problem if I did.
Mauricio Pochettino , Spurs manager, on inability to buy players in recent years
“At that time we couldn’t bring in new players. As we couldn’t, we decided not to sell anybody. We sold Mousa Dembele in January to China because it was his dream.
“We haven’t been able to play in our new stadium; we had to play in Wembley until a couple of months ago.
“We have come to the crucial part of the season and all of that has made us strong. We have had to overcome those difficulties.
Liverpool are playing in their ninth European Cup/Champions League final – more than any other English side. They’ve won the trophy five times, but have lost their past two finals (2007 and 2018).
Tottenham are playing in their first ever European Cup/Champions League final. The past five first-time finalists have lost – Chelsea 2008, Arsenal 2006, Monaco 2004, Bayer Leverkusen 2002 and Valencia 2000.
The last side to lose consecutive Champions League finals were Valencia in 2000 and 2001.
This will be Tottenham’s first European final since the 1984 Uefa Cup. They are looking to become just the third English side to win all three major Uefa tournaments, including the old Cup Winners’ Cup.
Liverpool have lost their past four finals since winning the 2012 League Cup. Spurs have lost their past two finals since the 2008 League Cup.
Sadio Mane could become the first player to score in back-to-back European Cup finals since Franz Roth with Bayern Munich in 1975 and 1976.
No team have conceded more goals in this season’s Champions League than Tottenham (17). Seven of these goals have come in the opening 15 minutes of games.
This is Jurgen Klopp’s third major European final with Liverpool – only Bob Paisley (four) has ever reached more with the club.