This game signifies a huge moment for English football, cementing the Premier League as the dominant force in Europe, capable of sweeping all European competition before it. Because this is the first time in history that both major European finals – Europa League and Champions League – have been contested by four teams from the same nation. This all-English Champions League final – the second in the competition’s history and the first since 2008 when Chelsea were defeated on penalties by Manchester United – also signifies the end of the Spanish era, with either Barcelona or Real Madrid having won the last five finals.
Making their first ever appearance in the final, Tottenham are the eighth English club to appear in the fixture; giving England more finalists than any other country – Italy and Germany are next on the list with six each. While the fixture represents a changing of the guard in terms of nationality, Spurs also represent a change in terms of the established elite of European football. They are the 40th club to reach the final, and the first newcomers since Chelsea in 2008. Triumph, and Spurs would become the 23rd side to win the European Cup and the first new name on the trophy since Chelsea’s 2012 victory.
Tottenham’s progress to the final has been dramatic, to say the least! The quarter-finals saw bundles of drama and away goals victory over Premier League Champions Manchester City. But somehow, the semi-final was even more epic, with Spurs becoming only the second team in UEFA Champions League history to recover from losing the home first leg in a semi-final, turning around a 1-0 defeat by Ajax in north London with a 3-2 success in Amsterdam. Lucas Moura was the hero on the night, scoring both a hat-trick and the injury-time winner to send Pochettino’s men through.
Unlike Spurs, Liverpool are no strangers to Champions League finals, having reached eight in their history and four since the turn of the century. Last years losing finalists, The Reds have an English record five European Cups in the Anfield trophy cabinet and will be hoping to go one better than last year. Liverpool lost their best player Mohamed Salah early in the game and suffered multiple blunders from goalkeeper Loris Karius in a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid.
This season’s side is a different proposition though. In almost any other year, they’d have been runaway Premier League champions. Unfortunately for Liverpool, though, they finished second to an outstanding Manchester City side. So, this represents the only chance of silverware left for Jurgen Klopp’s team, who reached the final with an epic semi-final comeback story of their own; following up a strange 3-0 defeat at the Nou Camp with a resounding 4-0 thumping at Anfield of Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.
Given their form this season and their history in European competition, it’s no surprise that Liverpool are favourites to lift the European Cup for a sixth time, at odds of 4/9 (1.44). Despite their dramatic progression through the knockout rounds, Spurs are 9/5 (2.80) to win the trophy for the first time.
Liverpool go into this fixture having been by far the dominant force domestically this season. In the Premier League, they finished 26 points ahead of the team from North London and beat Spurs 2-1 home and away. Since 2016 the sides have faced each other eight times, with Liverpool winning four games, drawing three and losing only once to Poch’s men.
Liverpool also have a great record against English sides in European competition and are unbeaten in their last five against domestic rivals. However, Spurs, because of their intense style of play, always present a tough proposition for Liverpool and are arguably the most difficult domestic opposition The Reds face outside of Manchester City. Spurs also hope to have talisman Harry Kane back in the line-up following injury. So why not back the fairytale to continue, and bet on Spurs to win and both teams to score at 28/5 (6.60)?
*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of going to print.
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