Finally, the biggest football game of the season is approaching! This Saturday, Tottenham is playing against Liverpool in the Champions League final, and every fan knows the importance of this match. So, which club will win the most prestigious European trophy, making their opponent go home with the silver medals? We will find out very soon in the exciting Liverpool vs Tottenham match, where everything is possible!
Only a few days ago, Chelsea won the Europa League, and now another English team is about to make history in the Champions League, which is the most watched and prestigious tournament in Europe. Liverpool and Tottenham became the teams that reached the final, beating all of their opponents. Just like in the deciding match of the Europa League, both sides are English. This European season is a blessing for the fans from England, who can watch their favourite clubs facing each other for the trophies, and also for the casual viewers who enjoy good football. It happened for the first time in history that all four teams that compete in the finals are from the same country.
Liverpool vs Tottenham: all the latest updates
Since 2014, Spanish teams won the UEFA Champions League: Barcelona's successful year was 2015, and Real Madrid was victorious in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The last time an English team managed to become champions was in 2012 when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the final game. Finally, in 2019, a team from the English Premier League has an opportunity to reclaim the title from Spanish clubs.
The finale between the bold team from London and the passionate squad from Liverpool is something to look forward to, even if you are not a fan of either clubs. English football is always eventful, and the European tournaments are soaked with its spirit this year. The opponents will fight for a special European Champion Clubs' Cup, which is also frequently called "big ears" due to its imaginative design. Winning the UEFA Champions League is always a big deal, and neither Tottenham nor Liverpool will give up easily when they are only one step away from their dream.
Both of this year's finalists have made incredible comebacks in the semi-finals, securing their spots in the last game that decides everything. The whole world saw that they are ready to put up a fight, and the admirers are eagerly expecting Saturday evening to see them in action!
Where is the final of the UEFA Champions League?
The final game of Europe's biggest tournament will be played in Madrid, Spain. Ironically, this is the first final in years that does not include Spanish teams. The venue for the game will be Atletico Madrid's home stadium, Wanda Metropolitano. This stadium has a capacity of 67,829 people, and for such a huge game, it is expected to be full.
As it usually happens with big games like this, the tickets are in high demand, so they are quite hard to get. Every club received 16,613 tickets to distribute to their fans. The general public got 4,000 tickets, and the rest will go to the organisers, UEFA and national officials, sponsors and broadcasters. The families and friends of the players will also receive some tickets from them.
Anyway, those who did not manage to get a ticket to the stadium still have a chance to watch the game on a big screen or in a sports-themed restaurant together with other fans. Even if it is not the same as going to the arena, the incredible football spirit is present there as well.
Who is the referee of the UEFA Champions League final?
This year's referee is Damir Skomina from Slovenia, who is famous for his work during many important games, including a few latest European tournaments. He also was a judge at the UEFA EURO 2012, UEFA EURO 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Another exciting thing about this game is that it is the first final to use the Video Assistant Referee system, commonly referred to as VAR. This technique was created to review the head referee's decisions with the available video footage of the questionable moment. The purpose of such a system is avoiding human errors, which are sometimes made by the referees.
When is the final of the UEFA Champions League?
The game will take place on Saturday, June 1st, 2019. In the past, the final games of this tournament would usually start at 20:45 CEST. However, this year, the kick-off time was moved to 21:00 CEST. So, do not forget to tune in and get absorbed into the fantastic football atmosphere!
Liverpool and Tottenham trophy count
Among the two finalists, Liverpool is clearly more experienced in European competitions. This is their ninth final in history, and they became victorious on five occasions. Their last victory took place in 2005, in a classic match known as "The Miracle of Istanbul", when they managed to come back from the discouraging 3-0 score against star-studded Milan in the first half and make it 3-3 in the second, later winning the game 3-2 on penalties. Since then, however, Liverpool had no luck in the European competitions – they got to the final in 2018, but were beaten by Real Madrid with a 3-1 score. This time, the Reds are determined to repeat their 2005 success and fight until their last breath. Besides, they need a title this year after losing the Premier League by one point to Manchester City.
Tottenham, on the other hand, is new to the UEFA Champions League finals – this is their first one. Their most significant achievement was way back in the 1960s when they won the Cup Winners' Cup and became the first team from Britain to receive a prestigious European trophy. Apart from that, they played in three UEFA Cup finals, which they won in 1972 and 1984 but lost in 1974. This was long ago, and the team is entirely different now, but the Spurs are more motivated than ever to win this game and make the current generation of their fans proud. Their goal is to prove that they are one of the elite European teams who can be considered a threat to the experienced Champions League giants.
So, will Liverpool add another trophy to their impressive collection and come back from last year's unlucky final, or will Tottenham earn their first ever Champions League trophy? The bookmakers believe in Liverpool's experience more than in Tottenham's desire. In the Europa League final, the odds turned out to be right – the clear favourite Chelsea beat their opponent Arsenal. The main question of the match is whether Tottenham is going to shake things up and defy all expectations, or will they go down Arsenal's path. We will find out the answer very soon!
READ ALSO: Europa League final: match overview, winner, results
Tottenham vs Liverpool: the road to the final
Both squads went through a memorable path to the biggest game of their lives. Their ability to overcome difficulties and handle the pressure is what made them qualified for the big final.
Tottenham had a rough start in their group, which included such teams as Inter, PSV and Barcelona. Initially, no one believed that they could come back from two losses and one draw. However, Tottenham managed to become runner-ups of the group, winning two games in a row with a minimum score – 2-1 against PSV and 1-0 against Inter. They also drew their last match with Barcelona 1-1. Since they had an equal number of points with Inter, the Spurs only advanced thanks to the fourth tie-breaker, which was head-to-head away goals.
In the round of 16, the Spurs got Borussia Dortmund, which they left no chance to, beating them 3-0 and 0-1 in both legs. The next challenge was a fellow English club, Manchester City. The scores of two games were 1-0 and 4-3, and while the teams had an equal goal count, Tottenham advanced on away goals according to the Champions League rules. Finally, in the semi-finals, Tottenham faced the bold Ajax, and they lost the first leg 0-1, but managed to come back in the second one 2-3, once again winning on away goals. Tottenham had so many close calls, but their luck this season is unbelievable, and we will see if it will continue in the final game.
Liverpool's group stage history was not easy either – they had Paris, Napoli and Crvena Zvezda in their group. The Reds gained exactly three victories and three losses, winning and losing against each opponent once. Still, their statistics allowed them to become group runner-ups and advance to the next stage. Much like Tottenham, the Reds went through because of a tie-breaker with Napoli. In their case, it was the second one: goal difference.
Their first rival in the playoffs was Bayern Munich. The Reds drew the first leg 0-0 but managed to gain a thrilling victory of 1-3 in the second one. The courageous Porto was the second opponent, and Liverpool beat them with 2-0 and 1-4 scores in two games. The semi-finals brought the intimidating Barcelona with their captain and best player Lionel Messi. Naturally, the Blaugrana was a clear favourite – after 3-0 defeat in the first leg, things looked bad for Liverpool. This is when the Reds showed their fighter spirit and managed to create one of this year's biggest football miracles by winning the second leg 4-0 and sending Messi's team home.
After their amazing comebacks in the semi-finals, neither team wants to give away the victory easily. Liverpool and Tottenham statistics are very similar, and neither team is in the clear lead. The Spurs won six games, drew two and lost four, while the Reds won seven, drew one and lost four. Liverpool's goal count is 22, and Tottenham is only two goals behind with 20. As for the total attempts, Tottenham is a little ahead with 183 against Liverpool's 172.
Tottenham vs Liverpool: which players to watch out for?
Both the Reds and the Spurs have some amazingly talented players that have the potential to be the stars of the final.
Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are a dangerous trio: they have four goals each scored in this Champions League campaign. Two of them, Salah and Mane, have tied for this season's Golden Boot award in the Premier League, together with the Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. This means that the attacking line of Liverpool is something to be aware of for the Spurs, and they need to try and hold them back.
Some of the team's defenders, such as Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, can also change the picture, as they are very talented assistants and may provide goal opportunities for the forwards. By the way, four Liverpool players – Mane, Robertson, van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold – were included in the PFA Team of the Year 2018-2019. Finally, the goalkeeper Alisson Becker delivered a stunning performance in league with 21 clean sheets, and every Reds fan is hoping for him to continue this way against Tottenham.
The main star of today's Liverpool is certainly Mohamed Salah, who is considered to be one of the brightest players of our time. The defence of Tottenham will need to put extra effort into dealing with him.
Tottenham did not have any players in the PFA Team of the Year 2018-2019, but this does not mean their footballers are unable to deliver high-quality performance. In particular, they have Harry Kane, who is the star striker of the team and last year's World Cup Golden Boot winner. His injuries this season made it difficult for him to discover his full potential in the league, but he still managed to come 6th in the goalscorer rating with 17 goals.
Harry Kane and Lucas Moura are also top scorers in this Champions League campaign, each with five goals. Another striker to fear is Son Heung-min, who has four goals to his name. Liverpool will have to pay close attention to the midfielders: Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko, who are all crucial parts of the team.
It is safe to say that the most dangerous player in the Tottenham squad is Harry Kane, one of the finest strikers in the world. If he shows all of his skills and capabilities in this game, he can lead the Spurs to victory.
Liverpool vs Tottenham: expected line-ups
None of Liverpool's players is injured, except for the midfielder Naby Keita, who will miss the game. There was a scare with goalscorer Roberto Firmino, but he has recovered and is now ready to help the squad on the pitch. As for Tottenham's players, they have suffered a lot of injuries recently – some of the most crucial players, including Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez, Harry Winks and the star forward Harry Kane, were unable to play late in the season. Still, they showed massive progress in their recovery ahead of the final, and the Spurs fans are hoping that all four will be prepared for the game.
The football experts already predict the probable line-ups for the game. The starting eleven for both teams are expected to be the following:
- Tottenham: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Wanyama, Alli, Eriksen; Son, Moura.
- Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Tottenham – Liverpool reactions
The coaches of both teams, as well as some players that came to the press conference, have already given their comments on the game. Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool coach, was in a very relaxed mood and laughed a lot. He said that his team has matured a lot since last year's defeat in the Kyiv final to Real Madrid. The Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino expressed how proud he is of his squad, and said that they will be playing with freedom, without thoughts of the entire world watching them. Klopp and Pochettino also exchanged a few words of respect towards each other.
The social media is going wild ahead of a big game. For instance, on the official page of UEFA Champions League, some famous football legends are trying to predict the score of the game. We will see if their guesses are correct!
The pages of both teams are posting their preparations for the final match, and the fans are eagerly commenting on the posts in anticipation of the game. Some are supporting their favourite club, while some are attempting to guess the result. The UEFA Champions League page also entertains the fans with interactive questions.
Every year, various famous musicians are invited to perform before the final game of the UEFA Champions League. For example, last year it was a pop singer Dua Lipa, who delivered an incredible show. This time, every fan who tunes in will be able to see a fantastic performance from the indie rock band "Imagine Dragons". The members of this band are already in Madrid, and they voiced their expectations for the game. So, this will be a special occasion not only for devoted football fans but for avid music enthusiasts as well!
Liverpool vs Tottenham promises to be a hot game with a lot of passion and dedication. Whoever wins or loses, one thing is clear: there will be an emotional roller coaster at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Saturday night!
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