Champions League Final 2019 Predictions & Betting Preview
Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool contest the first all-English Champions League Final since 2007/2008 on Saturday night with both teams looking to write their names into the history books for different reasons.
Spurs are aiming for a first Champions League title in the club’s history, while a sixth honour for Liverpool in this competition would see the club move behind only Real Madrid and Milan in terms of wins.
It’s also a huge night for the two managers sat in either dugout, with Jürgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino both desperate to make their mark in Madrid by securing the biggest prize in European football for the first time in their respective careers.
Will it be Klopp or ‘Poch’ claiming Champions League glory this weekend?
Read on for our Champions League Final predictions and preview…
Champions League Final 2019 Predictions
In many ways, Spurs head into their first ever Champions League Final with the pressure off. Even the most optimistic Lilywhites fans would have been hard-pressed to predict a maiden final appearance after the first few games of this year’s competition.
Back in the autumn, Spurs looked to be crashing out of Group B with a whimper after two damaging opening defeats against Inter Milan and Barcelona. However, the Argentinian’s side has since shown an ‘unSpursy’-like ability to dig their heels in and grab a perfectly-timed goal to keep their dreams alive.
They understandably start as underdogs against a Liverpool side that finished some 26 points better off than them in the Premier League in 2018/19. Fortunately for Spurs, Pochettino has found a gritty formula to help them flourish in that underdog role, particularly against more illustrious opponents in Europe.
Luck has played its part – the VAR call against Sergio Agüero in their dramatic quarter-final win against Manchester City would not have saved them in previous years – but this side has shown time and time again in this year’s competition that they have character in spades. Fine margins aside, Spurs have more than earned their place at the top table this season, having battled their way through a tough group after a poor start and seen off two league champions in Man City and Ajax.
Midfield remains their weak spot, but if they can repeat the pacey, clinical counter-attacks that eventually delivered them victory against Ajax, their game could be well suited to a Liverpool side also not afraid to take risks when the mood suits – particularly if Lucas Moura once again steps up when Spurs need him most. Elsewhere, the mere presence of Harry Kane on the team sheet should also give the whole squad a morale boost even if the England captain only plays a bit-part role in this game.
Finally, Spurs face the psychological disadvantage of having lost both league games to Saturday’s opponents in the Premier League this season – albeit both games finished in a narrow 1-2 scoreline.
Can Pochettino turn that into a positive and help Spurs shine on the biggest stage of all this weekend?
Road to Madrid
Group stage 2nd, Group B.
Round of 16 Beat Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on aggregate.
Quarter-final Beat Manchester City on away goals rule (4-4 on aggregate).
Semi-final Beat Ajax on away goals (3-3 on aggregate).
Liverpool will look to put the ghosts of Kiev to rest on Saturday night as they return for a second successive Champions League Final under Jürgen Klopp. It’s also a huge night for the mercurial Reds boss who has developed an unfortunate habit of ending up on the losing side in finals.
In fairness to the German, his sides have often been the underdogs going into those previous disappointments. This time, Klopp is in the unusual position of starting this fixture in charge of the favourites, and he’ll be determined to make that advantage count against a Spurs side he has had the measure of tactically in recent meetings.
Liverpool’s attack has rightly taken plenty of the plaudits in recent seasons, but it’s the attacking dynamism of the full-backs that has really helped Liverpool move up to the next level this season, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson likely to exploit any shortfallings in Spurs’ midfield. This game could be won or lost for Liverpool on Spurs’ appetite for keeping the two full-backs quiet at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. If Klopp can get the pair to exploit gaps early, Liverpool could easily build early momentum in this game.
With the fearless Virgil van Dijk marshalling the back line, and the reliable Alisson alert to any danger, Liverpool should also be far more mentally resilient than 12 months ago where a series of unfortunate events ultimately put paid to their Champions League dream.
Mistakes from Loris Karius may have left the Reds with too much of a mountain to climb in Kiev, but you sense even if this Reds side was to start the 2019 Champions League Final off on the wrong footing, they would have enough calm heads to shrug it off and fight their way back into the game. The crushing disappointment of 2018 could well be Klopp’s strongest motivational tool as he looks to break his final curse.
Road to Madrid
Group stage 2nd, Group C.
Round of 16 Beat Bayern Munich 3-1 on aggregate.
Quarter-final Beat Porto 6-1 on aggregate.
Semi-final Beat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate.
Marathonbet verdict: The Reds’ extra European experience to give them the edge in Madrid – although back Pochettino’s men to push them all the way.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Liverpool
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