Today Liverpool will play Tottenham in the 2019 Champions League Final at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid. Both teams have had similar fates leading up to the final which could easily leave both teams believing that it’s their ‘destiny’ to take home the trophy.
How the teams got to the final
While Liverpool picked up a 1–0 win in their final group game against Napoli at home to get out of the groups after picking up only three points in their first three games, Tottenham managed to draw away in Barcelona on the final game of the groups after only picking up one point in their first three games.
In the knockouts, Liverpool went on to beat Bayern scoring three goals away in Munich, Porto after relatively comfortable home and away victories, and Barcelona in one of the most memorable ties in Champions League history after turning around a 3–0 away defeat with a 4–0 home victory in the semi-finals.
As for Tottenham, they were surprisingly efficient beating a very talented Borussia Dortmund home and away. They then beat Premier League Champions Manchester City in a thrilling tie that had everything from missed penalties to dramatic late disallowed VAR goals and in the semi finals with 45 minutes left of the away tie against Ajax needed to score three goals to reach the final. Lucas Moura had the game of his life scoring all three goals securing a incredible comeback and giving Tottenham their place in the final.
Who do I think will start?
Jurgen Klopp made clear in his pre-match press conference that Liverpool have everyone available to start apart from Naby Keita who’s injury will unfortunately keep him sidelined. As for Tottenham, the big question has been whether Harry Kane will be fit to start in Madrid as he is recovering from an injury he picked up against Manchester City in the quarterfinals.
Here’s my predicted line ups:
As for Liverpool, when everyone is fully fit the lineup pretty much picks itself. James Milner could start in one of the midfield slots, however other than that one change I’d be surprised to see any other Liverpool lineup.
As for the Spurs, Harry Kane could certainly start and, if he’s fully fit, it would make sense for Mauricio Pochettino to pick him. However, I have a feeling that it would be rushed and either way he won’t be match fit. I have no doubt he will get some game time in the final. However, Lucas Moura scored three in the semi-final and the goal away at Barcelona that got Tottenham out of the group stages and I think it would be a travesty for him not to start in the final. I think Son is often more dangerous in a lineup in which Kane doesn’t start, so it will be interesting to see what lineup Mauricio Pochettino chooses.
What do I think the score will be?
I think it will be a tight game. Both teams will have spells in which they dominate and whichever team takes their chances when they’re on top has a strong chance of winning. I think Liverpool’s experience of getting to the final last year will help them more than hinder them. As it’s Tottenham’s first Champions League Final it will be a test of how they hold up under that kind of pressure. Key players Hugo Lloris and Toby Alderweireld have final experience and will be important players for Tottenham if they are to come out on top.
I think Liverpool’s experience and quality in key positions will make the difference. I’m a Liverpool fan, of course I’m going for a Liverpool win.
Tottenham 1–3 Liverpool
On April 25th 2013, I watched Bourssia Dortmund take on Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final in awe of a young, passionate Dortmund side who at the time was one of the best young squads in football, with one of the best up and coming managers who I one day hoped would be the manager of my club. It’s rare that six years later you can say that your hopes became a reality.
Liverpool FC was a giant waiting to be awakened in 2015 when Klopp took charge. His message to Liverpool fans on day one was “you have to turn from doubter, to believer; now” and in his Champions League Final press conference said that this Liverpool team is “the best team he’s taken to a Champions League final.” With that, in some case, sometimes dreams do come true.