Spurs or Liverpool? Who 19 pundits are backing to win the Champions League
Tottenham and Liverpool will face off in an all-English Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday night – and plenty of people have been giving their predictions ahead of the game.
Liverpool are favourites with the bookmakers to win their first silverware under Jurgen Klopp, and that is reflected in the predictions of most pundits, albeit the number of their former players in the media swings things.
Here’s how 19 pundits see things going at the Wanda Metropolitano…
Carra told the Anfield Wrap: “I just think if we could really start well in those first 15-20 minutes and really get the crowd going and being on top, it’s a big thing mentally to deal with that.
“I think Tottenham need confidence from the start of the game to really push them on.
“I think we’ll win. I think it will be a very tight game, we’ll probably just edge it.”
Repeating their trick from before the Europa League prediction, Sky Sports have published their pundits’ predictions without an actual score prediction.
But Nicholas says: “I see Liverpool winning this and it will go right to the final whistle. I hope it is an over-expansive game of football, but I feel as though the defenders will be dragging everyone in not wanting to make mistakes and that is the tension that comes with these games.
“I do think Liverpool merit a trophy this season. Tottenham have shown a stunning attitude in the Champions League. I think there will be lots of bookings and it will be a hard physical challenge.”
Matt Le Tissier
“I think Liverpool are the stronger team and have proved that they have been a stronger team throughout the campaign.
“There was a significant gap In the Premier League points tally and they have done the double over Tottenham already, so they have to be the favourites going into the game – I fully expect them to take home the trophy.
“They are both Premier League teams so you know the ins and outs of the opposition, whereas you don’t play Real Madrid twice a season.
“I think if Liverpool bring out their A-game in Madrid, and Tottenham bring their A-game to Madrid, Liverpool will win.”
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 30, 2019
“I am still tipping Liverpool to edge it, but you have to wonder if they will have lost a bit of momentum from having not played for three weeks,” Shearer told The Sun.
“Yes, Spurs have had the same time off. But Liverpool finished the season so strongly, winning all of their last nine games to push City right to the wire.”
“Liverpool have the best chance of winning,” Souness has said.
“They only lost one game in the Premier League, they have overall played a lot better than Tottenham and they have the experience of losing the final last year.
“But you can’t be sure because Spurs have been miraculous in the Champions League – they have nothing to lose and their attack is a constant danger.”
Former Liverpool man Nicol was incredibly thorough in his prediction, telling ESPN: “Liverpool will be 2-0 up with 10 minutes to go.
“Harry Kane will come on for the last 10 minutes and score and then we’ll be biting our nails, hanging on.
“We’ll win 2-1.”
There really are a lot of ex-Liverpool players in the media, aren’t there?
Another one, Lawrenson, is unsurprisingly backing his former club, going for 2-1 on the BBC.
“Everyone is saying Liverpool are favourites to win, but they can only be slight favourites.
“I do think if Klopp’s side are on it then they have got too much for Spurs, because the front three carry such a scoring threat and the width from their full-backs means you would think they will create enough chances to win.
“I also believe Liverpool will be in a better place mentally for their experience in last year’s final. They will know what it feels like when they walk away after losing a huge game like that and it will be something else driving them on to make sure there is a different outcome this time.
“So, by hook or by crook, I think Liverpool will win – although it will be extremely close.”
To redress the balance a little, former Spurs striker Lineker reckons…Liverpool are favourites.
“Overall, team against team, (Liverpool) have got the better players,” he told The Times.
“They finished 20-odd points ahead of Tottenham this season so it’s hard to make a case where Tottenham are favourites.
“But, as we know in football, the best teams don’t always win, which is one of the things that makes it so special.”
At least ‘Arry is staying loyal, telling the Daily Mirror: “I’ve just got a feeling Tottenham’s name may be on the cup.”
“They got out of the group phase somehow when they looked dead and buried, and it has gone from there.
“The Manchester City game… I just get a feeling it’s Tottenham’s year, which is hard on Liverpool because they deserve to win something this year. They have been amazing.”
Wriring in The Guardian, the England forward says: “With the attacking style of both teams it promises to be spectacular. Whichever team wins will have provided the perfect finish to an amazing story.
“Which team will that be? That is extremely hard to call. I would say Liverpool just edge it thanks, in particular, to their greater experience in midfield. A good example of the strength in depth they have there came when Georginio Wijnaldum sprang from the bench against Barcelona and scored two goals. Wijnaldum could not get into the starting team that day. And then they also have such players as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain available for selection.”
“Mohamed Salah vs Danny Rose and Sadio Mane against Kieran Trippier feels like a key factor and could be what settles it,” Ben Burrows writes.
Eventually he sticks his neck on the line: Liverpool 3-1 Tottenham.
Six of the Daily Mirror’s writers have given their predictions ahead of the game, with only one, Mike Walters, backing Spurs to win, 2-1.
The other five go 3-2, 3-1, 3-2, 3-1 and 2-1, with David Maddock’s prediction the most specific: “I’ve had a premonition, Liverpool will win, and it will be a thriller. Mane will score – not sure if it’s the first or the winner, but get on it. And I want a cut of the winnings…”