TOTTENHAM vs LIVERPOOL – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL!

  • Liverpool are playing in their ninth European Cup/Champions League final – more than any other English side
  • Tottenham are playing in their first ever European Cup/Champions League final
  • Sadio Mane could become the first player to score in back-to-back European Cup finals since Franz Roth
  • No team have conceded more goals in this season’s Champions League than Tottenham (17)

Who needs it most?

18:30: Klopp’s record in finals is well known and remains the stick with which he is beaten.

Since winning the 2012 German Cup with Borussia Dortmund the German has lost the last six finals he has contested, three of which were with Liverpool (Champions League, Europa League and League Cup). For all the plaudits his side have received for the way they play, and despite Klopp’s insistence to the contrary, they do need to start picking up trophies.

Pochettino is another manager who has been criticised for having no end product.

By contrast he has been in only one final, losing the 2015 League Cup final to Chelsea. Silverware would give his methods some validation and provide an answer to his critics.

The build-up

18:28: Anyone noticed that ALL finals on the BBC or BT Sport are preceded by a rap or spoken word poetry of some kind?

Still undecided whether I’m enjoying this marathon rap from a fella called Wretch 32, in which he runs through the highlights of this year’s Champions League season.

Oh and look – Michael Owen has just arrived in the studio. Magnificent…

The boys are back in town!

18:20: Do my eyes deceive me? Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger are chatting happily together in the beIN Sports studio!

beIN Sports get two of the greatest managers of all time, BT Sport get Steve McManaman and Jermaine Jenas…

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates (Image: BEINSPORTS)

Klopp’s midfield conundrum

18:15: Perhaps it’s time to talk about the actual match itself.

Judging by his past record in the competition this season, Jurgen Klopp has a big call to make over whether to pick his captain Jordan Henderson or Fabinho.

The pair have started only one Champions League match, the 4-0 semi-final second leg win over Barcelona, after Wijnaldum was rested.

However, Wijnaldum and James Milner are the manager’s trusted pair, having each started 10 of their 12 matches, so look certain to be in the XI but it is a toss up for the third place.

Fabinho arguably put in his best performance for the club in the 4-0 comeback against Barcelona but Henderson has been performing at a consistently-high level over the last six weeks of the season.

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates (Image: REUTERS)

Harry Kane on the bench?

18:10: That’s what BT Sport pundit Glenn Hoddle thinks.

Kane has not played since the quarter-final first leg against Manchester City in early April when he suffered a “significant” ankle ligament injury.

The England captain has declared himself fit for the showpiece clash with Liverpool and trained without problem at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on Friday night.

However, Hoddle said he spoke with Kane at length yesterday and his gut feeling is that the striker will be among the substitutes.

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates (Image: REUTERS)

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates (Image: REUTERS)

The sweepstake

18:05: I’m running the office sweepstake tonight, folks. C’mon, we have to keep morale up somehow…

It’s a whopping £2 entry winner takes all. Not sure if you care but I’m going to show you what we’ve got thus far… and yes… I have been a scrooge and plumped for a goalless draw.

Benson: Tottenham 2-3 Liverpool, Rhys: Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool, Bruce: Tottenham 2-2 Liverpool, Ollie: Tottenham 2-2 Liverpool, Luke: Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool, Josh: Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool, Rory: Tottenham 1-0 Liverpool, Lewis: Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool, Callum: Tottenham 2-4 Liverpool, Jamie: Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool, Alex: Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool, Jack: Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool.

Just one fella backing Spurs in the office. He runs our social media account so direct any mockery/praise to him via the usual channels…

The plot thickens…

18:00: This is like something from a Hollywood movie.

Spanish police have seized fake steward bibs, imitation devices for the technical ticket check and false accreditations as demand for Champions League final tickets intensified.

Each finalist received just 17,000 tickets for the Madrid showpiece in the 63,000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano – but an estimated 100,000 fans have travelled.

“An organised group of people, impersonating genuine stewards or officials might try to act as if they were conducting the visual or technical ticket check, with the aim of stealing tickets during such controls,” UEFA said.

Err…

17:55: Well that video below is insane, right? Thousands of Liverpool fans bouncing to Allez, Allez, Allez in the streets of Madrid.

Would love to tell you their exact location but I’m chained to a desk in London. Got a £3 meal deal though – so who’s really winning?

Twitter round-up

Kenneth: Terrific atmosphere here in Madrid, its been building for a couple of days. Spanish are loving it. The fans good behaviour is a wonderful advert for the UK.

Darren: I’m having laser eye surgery on Wednesday and if that goes horribly wrong, then this could be the last game of football that I EVER see!

Tom: I would normally do a poll around now as to what the score may be tonight but there are so many bitter and twisted Chelsea and Man Utd fans out there I’d need Cambridge Analytica on my side to get my desired result!

Great to hear Kenneth, don’t suppose you could have a crack at sorting Brexit out while you’re over there?

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates (Image: GETTY)

Not everyone has been so lucky…

17:48: I can’t mention the success stories of both supporters without mentioning the unlucky few.

Hundreds of Tottenham and Liverpool fans could miss kick-off after a bird hit a Thomas Cook plane, delaying their flight to Madrid.

Supporters were stranded there for six and a half hours and are expected to arrive just 30 minutes before the clash.

“I am genuinely speechless about what myself, my son and 190 other Tottenham fans have gone through today. We were supposed to be heading to Madrid at 0950. Instead we have been stuck all day at Stanstead by a succession of issues,” one supporter wrote.

It’s party time!

17:45: I imagine you’ve been keeping abreast of the antics over in Madrid on Twitter these last few days.

It looks incredible. Big beers, beautiful weather, stunning city and more partying in the street than you can shake a stick at.

I’ll post a few of my favourite videos if you’ve missed ‘em. I’m lovely like that.

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates (Image: GETTY/REUTERS/EPA)

Evening…

17:40: Hello there – you here for the football? Right this way…

Welcome to our LIVE coverage of the Champions League final as the curtain comes down on the 2018-19 season.

We’ve had thrills, spills and bellyaches along the way. Nails bitten, hearts broken and even Neil Warnock being coming the nation’s sweetheart. Strange year.

And it’s all been leading to tonight.

Liverpool and Tottenham battle it out in an all-English Champions League final in Madrid.

Luckily we have over two hours of build-up here at Express HQ because there are a ridiculous number of stories to tell – including the Go Compare man being swindled for £7k.

So standby as the nation stops for Tottenham vs Liverpool. Let’s get going!

Champions League Final 2019 Liverpool Tottenham Kick Off Line Up TV Channel Stream Latest Watch Online Free

Tottenham vs Liverpool LIVE: Champions League final updates (Image: GETTY)

TOTTENHAM vs LIVERPOOL – TEAM NEWS

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has been passed fit for the Champions League final against Tottenham in Madrid.

The Brazil international has missed the last three matches with a thigh problem but manager Jurgen Klopp said he was ready for the game.

Teenager Rhian Brewster has been included in the 23-man squad but fellow youngsters Ben Woodburn and Curtis Jones have not made the cut.

Harry Kane has declared himself fit to play despite being absent since limping off against Manchester City in the first leg of their quarter-final.

Pochettino insists he is ready to pick his talismanic striker but bringing him back risk upsetting one of his semi-final heroes who helped inspire an incredible comeback against Ajax.

Kane, though, is expected to play and that might mean Lucas Moura dropping out despite the Brazilian netting a sensational hat-trick against Ajax.

He should lead the line with Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen in support.

Dele Alli is set to play in a slightly deeper role and Harry Winks should come into the side despite being absent since the City clash along with Kane.

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