Allez Allez Allez, it’s the Champions League final in Madrid. It’s the third ever European final between two teams from England, but only the second this week. Ahead of the Europa League final, Arsenal fans were saying they’d trade a loss in Baku to ensure Tottenham didn’t become European champions. Their team certainly delivered their half of the bargain in spades on Wednesday night.
Whether the Clock End’s collective soul is enough to power Liverpool to glory or not, Paddy has the Reds down as clear favourites here. Jürgen Klopp’s crew are 5/6 to win the match in 90 minutes, and 1/2 to lift the trophy.
Liverpool are worthy favourites. They finished 26 points ahead of Spurs this season, with the Londoners losing a whopping 19 games in all competitions in 2018/19. Tottenham played more matches, but that’s one more game than Southampton lost in regular time. Ouch.
The Lilywhites also lost home and away against Liverpool, though they were unfortunate to lose at Anfield. This is the seventh Champions League final between two clubs from the same country, but the first where one side won both league meetings that season.
Mauricio Pochettino has built an excellent team, one which is more than capable of winning a one-off match. But with only one win in their nine meetings with Klopp’s Liverpool, it’s hard to pick Spurs to come out on top here.
They’re due a bit of luck against Liverpool. In the last meeting they had a double dose of misfortune, as Toby Alderweireld scored an own goal, and their own chance to win the match fell to Moussa Sissoko.
Poch will also cling to the knowledge that intra-national Champions League finals have usually been close. Only two of the six previous examples were settled in normal time, with one of those requiring an 89th minute winner. If Spurs can keep it tight, history suggests they’ll have a chance.
Klopp’s first match in charge of Liverpool was against Tottenham, and it ended 0-0. In the eight meetings since, the Reds have scored every time and Spurs have only failed to once. It has also been nine years since a side scored nil in the Champions League final, so we can expect both Lloris and Alisson to be picking the ball out of their net at least once.
Paddy will give you your money back as a free bet if Sadio Mané scores in regular time, and while Mohamed Salah leads the way in the goal scorer market, a flutter on Mané could be a better choice anyway.
The Senegalese international has real pedigree in this competition. 10 of his 14 Champions League goals have been scored in the knockout phase, including netting Liverpool’s goal in the 2017/18 final. Mané is also the Premier League’s top goal scorer in 2019, and who doesn’t love a calendar year stat?
He scored the opening goals in both Munich and Porto this season, and has 13 goals in his last 16 matches. The main man Mané is the one to watch.
It also makes sense to back Liverpool to score first. The Reds have broken the deadlock in five of the last six meetings, taking the lead by no later than the 16th minute four times. But with 85% of Tottenham’s Champions League goals occurring in the second half this season, it won’t be over if they go behind.
The big question for Tottenham is whether or not England’s Sir Harry Kane will be fit. With five goals against Liverpool in nine matches across his career, plus five in this season’s Champions League, Spurs will obviously hope so.
A flutter on the magic chin to score, at 17/10, is never a bad bet when Tottenham are in town.
But what of Lucas Moura? He scored more non-penalty league goals against other top six sides than Kane did this season, with all three coming away from home (including one at Anfield). Throw in the small matter of a hat-trick in the semi-final, and the Brazilian looks a better value bet than an undercooked Kane.
*All odds correct at time of posting