Champions League: 3 factors that could determine the outcome of the Tottenham vs Liverpool final
Liverpool take on Tottenham Hotspur in an all-English UEFA Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday. Liverpool have won the trophy five times and were the runners-up last year. On the other hand, Tottenham are appearing in their first ever final.
Jurgen Klopp will try to be third time lucky after having lost two European finals as manager, in 2013 and 2018. Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, will look to achieve the seemingly impossible by winning the ultimate prize in club football with Tottenham.
Both the teams came back from the brink of elimination by overturning deficits in the semifinals. Liverpool thrashed Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield, while Tottenham beat Ajax 3-2 with three second half goals in Amsterdam.
Here, we take a look at the 3 crucial factors which might determine the outcome of the match:
#1 Liverpool’s full-backs providing width upfront
Liverpool’s fullbacks, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, make up for the lack of width upfront with their expeditious overlapping runs.
Both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Liverpool’s right and left wingers respectively, like to cut in from the flanks, and therefore, Liverpool lack width in the final third at times. Having two hard-working fullbacks means that they do not have to worry too much about having width upfront.
Alexander-Arnold was directly behind two Liverpool goals against Barcelona, and Robertson had a stellar first half before leaving the field owing to an injury.
Liverpool would again depend upon their crosses in the final against Tottenham. Both Robertson and Alexnader-Arnold cross very well, and they could play a crucial part in creating moves in the attack.
Tottenham’s wing-backs tend to leave a lot of space behind while going into attacks, and Liverpool’s full-backs might exploit that space, and also stretch Tottenham’s back three in the process.