The UEFA Champions League final gets underway on Saturday night as Premier League rivals, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, clash on Saturday evening.
The match itself, the first all-English European Cup final since 2008, sees the two teams aiming to end their respective waits for European glory at the home of Atletico Madrid, the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.
Having finished as beaten finalists last year, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are more fancied to taste glory this time around and can be backed at odds of 1/2 with William Hill to lift the trophy, whether that be after 90 minutes, extra-time or on penalties. Meanwhile, Tottenham have never reached this stage of the UEFA Champions League and are understandably underdogs at a price of 13/8 to win the competition.
One aspect that parallels both teams is their resilience this season in the UEFA Champions League. Both the Reds and Spurs had to earn results in their final group game to progress to the knockout rounds. They also had to stage miraculous comebacks in the last four against Barcelona and Ajax in order to book their tickets to the final. That ‘never-say-die’ attitude could potentially be seen in Madrid. Liverpool are at 9/1 with Coral to come from behind to win the match, whilst Spurs to do the same thing sits at 18/1.
Mauricio Pochettino’s troops could have good news ahead of the game with a couple of key players set to return to action. Most of the headlines coming into the game will be surrounding star striker Harry Kane. The forward has been previously been struggling with an ankle injury but could feature after returning to training. Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen could also be included following their recoveries from various problems. Danny Rose has been another to be passed fit following a hamstring injury and he could line up against Davinson Sanchez in defence after he too has managed to shake off a thigh problem. However, midfielder Harry Winks remains a slight doubt having not featured in a matchday squad since mid-April.
Elsewhere, Liverpool have a relatively clean bill of health. Andrew Robertson and Roberto Firmino were slight doubts but look likely to play after recovering from a calf and groin strain respectively. The only confirmed absentee is midfielder Naby Keita who is suffering with an adductor injury.
With the likes of Firmino and Kane fit, supporters could potentially expect goals in Madrid. The latter is at 5/1 with Paddy Power to mark his return to the team with the opening goal of the game, with semi-final hero Fernando Llorente at odds of 15/2 to score first. In general terms, Mo Salah is the most fancied to score the opener in the final and is available at a price of 7/2.