Tottenham Hotspur are in the Champions League final thanks to a dramatic away goal victory over Ajax.
Spurs lost the first-leg 1-0 at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, their first defeat there, before going on to gain a hugely entertaining and to many people’s opinion unexpected 3-2 second-leg victory in Amsterdam.
Brazilian winger Lucas Moura was the hat-trick hero for Spurs in that famous comeback win, with the crucial third goal coming in the 96th minute.
Tottenham were without the services of star striker Harry Kane in that victory which made it even more impressive.
Tottenham also progressed over Manchester City on the away goal rule having finished 4-4 on aggregate over the two-legged quarter-final.
They finished the Premier League campaign with a 2-2 draw at home to Everton, which saw them finish the league in fourth position, which guarantees them Champions League football again next season.
Liverpool also made this year’s final in dramatic fashion as they were beaten 3-0 away to Barcelona at Camp Nou, before recording an amazing 4-0 victory at Anfield.
Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum with a brace each were the heroes on what was another famous European night of action at Anfield stadium.
The Reds were convincing 6-1 aggregate winners over Porto in the quarter-finals, winning 2-0 at home and 4-1 in Portugal to ease into the semi-finals.
Liverpool finished the Premier League season with a 2-0 home win against Wolves. That result meant that Liverpool agonisingly finished the season in second position just one point behind champions Manchester City.
The 64th Champions league final involves two teams from the same association for the seventh time and two English sides for just the second time, the other being back in 2008 (Man Utd v Chelsea).
Tottenham are playing in their first ever European Cup final, whilst it is Liverpool’s ninth and their second in a row. The winners of this match will then face the winners of the Europa League final in the UEFA Super Cup final.
A fourth substitution will be allowed if the game should go to extra-time and the number of substitutions has been increased from seven to twelve. This game will be the first European Cup final to use the VAR (Video Assistant Referee).
The sides have met on 32 occasions heading into this game with Liverpool winning 15, Tottenham have won eight and there has been seven draws.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino tells us that in the last week, Friday and Saturday, Striker Harry Kane has started to be involved in the group again and that although it’s a very positive situation with him (Kane), it is too early to say that he will definitely start.
The Spurs boss also gave out positive reports on the progression of Harry Winks, Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez.
Liverpool have confirmed that Roberto Firmino is getting closer to a return to full team training. The star Number nine has missed their last three matches, the famous win over Barcelona and league wins over Newcastle and Wolves, with a groin injury.
Liverpool’s only long-term absentee is Naby Keita (groin), who suffered a serious muscle tear and will not be expected back until pre-season at the earliest.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana are understood to be fine but possibly lacking match sharpness.
Despite having overcome the likes of Manchester City and Ajax already in this competition, the fact that Tottenham have lost their last two games against Liverpool on a 2-1 scoreline makes preference for another Liverpool victory.
So Liverpool to win and both teams to score on the night is advised at 3/1.
Both sides are capable of scoring in what should be a frantic end-to-end encounter and for this reason, and that I expect for both teams to score, I advise a punt on Liverpool to win 2-1 at 15/2.
Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min is our fancy to be an anytime goalscorer at 13/5.