Big game: Tottenham v Liverpool
It's an all-Premier League final in Madrid. Michael Cox and Alan Thompson preview Saturday night's final… You can prefer lớn the todays soccer prediction page!
Tottenham v Liverpool
Saturday 20:00, BT Sport hai.
Match Odds: Tottenham 4.40, Liverpool 1.98, The Draw 3.70.
After the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals, it seemed impossible that we'd be set for an all-English final. But Liverpool and Tottenham battled through lớn set up an unlikely final in Madrid, only the second time two English sides have faced one another in the final.
The previous occasion was back in 2008, a defensive-minded clash between Chelsea and eventual winners Manchester United. But there's no reason lớn think that this match will be similarly cagey: that 2008 clash merely represented the cautious style of football that dominated the Premier League at that football predictions. Now, this game should be open and positive thanks lớn the presence of two managers who concentrate heavily upon pressing.
Liverpool odds-on favourites
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool start as strong favourites, having finished two places ahead of Spurs in the Premier League table, and having beaten them home and away. After last year's disappointment against Real Madrid, they'll be particularly keen for revenge. Klopp has a poor record in finals, but that's unlikely to have any impact upon his approach here.
Klopp's starting selection has been fairly consistent in recent months - when he has a fully fit XI lớn choose from - although he has a concern here about Roberto Firmino, who has trained this week but might be short of full fitness. It seems likely Klopp will risk him here, although if not he has a major decision about who to play instead.
Daniel Sturridge would be the most natural replacement in terms of playing upfront but doesn't offer Firmino's all-round qualities. Divock Origi's performance in the semi-final means he could start instead, with the option to rotate him and Sadio Mane, with Mohamed Salah on the right. It's also not unthinkable that Klopp could use Gini Wijnaldum upfront for his pressing qualities, as he did away at Barcelona.
Solid midfield, dynamic full-backs
But Firmino will probably be fit, and Wijnaldum will be battling with James Milner for a place in midfield, although Jordan Henderson, revitalised in his old box-to-box role, with Fabinho sitting deep in front of the defence.
At the back it's the usual quartet. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are Liverpool's top two assisters this season and their overlapping runs will cause Spurs problems. At the back, Virgil van Dijk will play alongside Joel Matip, who has quietly been very impressive in recent months. Alisson will play in goal, and will presumably fare better than Loris Karius last year.