Champions League: The Mane man…

Tonight sees the end of the European club football season, with Tottenham and Liverpool competing in the Champions League final in Madrid.

The Reds start as favourites – they ended the season 26 points clear of today’s opponents, winning both league games 2-1. And have the memory of thrashing Barcelona 4-0 to make it through the semifinals.

However, Tottenham also enter the match on the back of a tremendous comeback against Ajax in the semifinal (the win over Manchester City in the quarterfinals wasn’t bad either) and will be pumping with confidence.

A tight game is likely, but we think Liverpool’s experience in this game last year, losing to Real Madrid, will hold them in good stead. The last five teams appearing in their first Champions League final, as Spurs are, have lost.

One area Liverpool could look to exploit is the lack of form of Kieran Trippier. Spurs’ right back was one of England’s players of the World Cup last summer but he has struggled this season, and has just been dropped from England’s squad for the Nations League. Facing him is Sadio Mane, one of Liverpool’s form players and joint leading scorer in the Premier League. We’ll take Mane to score first.

Although we think Liverpool could have the bulk of the possession, Spurs gave dangerous attacking talent in the likes of Lucas Moura, Christian Eriksen and Heung-min Son.

Fabinho is likely to be the defensive midfielder for Liverpool and it will be his job to stop these players from breaking on the defence. He already has three yellows in this competition, and we think there’s a strong chance he picks up another today.

Recommendations:

Mane to score first, 1 pt, at 5/1, William Hill

Fabinho to be booked, 1 pt, at 21/10, Paddy Power

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