UEFA Champions League Final Preview: Liverpool v Tottenham
So firstly, what are you initial feelings ahead of Saturday? Confident?
The Anfield Talk: Yeah, I’m really confident in fact. I think that there’s a huge gap between the quality of the sides and the league table certainly showed that. Saying that, Liverpool vs Spurs matches are always a cagey affair in recent years and we expect the same on Saturday. At the end of the day, we have a lot better players than they do so hopefully we should get the job done.
Harry Kane is set to return for Spurs, how important do you think his inclusion could be?
The Anfield Talk: From my perspective, this is the biggest game in club football so it’s great to have the best players on the pitch. Harry Kane is a fantastic striker and has shown that over the past 3 seasons. However, if his inclusion results in one of Lucas or Son being dropped, I’ll be quietly confident. I see them as bigger threats to us than Kane, I think Kane is a striker that van Dijk can deal with fairly easily.
So we’ve discussed their start man, who key to Liverpool’s success come Saturday?
The Anfield Talk: You’d think I would answer with Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk or Sadio Mane but I’m actually going to go the anchorman Fabinho. He’s became a key component in this Liverpool side over the past 6 months. He was actually benched for the clash in March however the second he was subbed on he grasped the game by the scruff of the neck and set Liverpool back on the attack in search of the winner. He could be huge in stopping Lucas/Son running in behind and stopping Eriksen picking up those pockets of space he’s so dangerous in.
You mentioned Fabinho, the Liverpool midfield has always created great debate, who gets the nod for you on Saturday? What would be your ideal XI?
The Anfield Talk: This is a huge talking point between the Liverpool fans over the whole season really. When everyone’s fit, we have 8 players competing for 3 spaces with Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita, Chamberlain, Lallana, Shapiro and Milner. The problem for Jürgen Klopp this season is that he’s struggled to find that perfect midfield trio. It was only in March that Adam Lallana came back into the team and impressed but since then he’s been exiled due to injury. Jordan Henderson and Fabinho are the certain starters I think as them two have easily been our best midfielders in the past 3 months. The other spot for me goes to James Milner just based on Wijnaldum’s tendency to ghost in the big games away from Anfield and the reliability Milly gives us. So my team is: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mane.
How big is Saturday in your opinion? Of course it’s a UCL but it’s also the final chance for silverware this season. Can Klopp and Liverpool accept another year without a trophy(despite the progression)?
The Anfield Talk: Saturday is huge for Liverpool and undoubtedly the biggest game in Jürgen Klopp’s managerial career. Another season without a trophy would simply be demoralising for a squad that has played so well all season. It’s also huge for Klopp due to his final record, he’ll certainly want to change that and what an opportunity he has on Saturday to change it.
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And finally, can I get a score prediction?
The Anfield Talk:I’ve got to go for a Liverpool win. I’m going to go for a 1-0 victory, Mohamed Salah with the winner.