Tottenham are weeks away from the biggest match in the club’s recent history. It could even be said that it is the biggest game since the club was formed. It is their chance to be crowed champions of Europe. To earn that title, they need to overcome a fellow Premier League side in Liverpool. They will start the match as outsiders, as they have only won once in the last 14 meetings between the two clubs. However, this is a one-off game and anything is possible.
Mauricio Pochettino will take great faith from the club’s run to the final. They have come from the brink on a number of occasions. Tottenham were close to being knocked out in the group stages, while they would have lost to Manchester City if it hadn’t been for the intervention of VAR. Although neither of those was close to the drama of the semi-final as they scored a winner with almost the last kick of the game.
It has been a year of clutch moments for Tottenham, especially in the Champions League. Despite the club failing to sign a single player this season, it hasn’t been the form of their players with big reputations that has carried them through to this stage of the competition. Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Harry Kane have all contributed, but none of the three have played a starring role.
Instead, it has been the form of Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura that has really caught the eye. Both were players with huge potential when they arrived in North London, but it has taken both time to break into the team. Now, they have to be considered the first names on the team-sheet in Madrid.
Son appears to be reaching his peak years in a Tottenham shirt. The South Korean should be considered one of the club’s greatest signings in recent years, as he continues to improve year-on-year under the guidance of Pochettino. In the Champions League, he has contributed vital goals against Borussia Dortmund and a brace against Manchester City. He averages 2.7 shots per game, which is fractionally higher than his output in the Premier League. This campaign has seen the 26-year-old make an impact on the continental stage and he will be looking to increase his reputation further on the 1st June.
Meanwhile, it is difficult not to see Lucas Moura get an opportunity from the start against Liverpool. The Brazilian has had to remain patient this season, but injuries have opened up a chance for him and he has grabbed it with both hands. His second half performance against Ajax was nothing short of sensational, as he grabbed a hat-trick with a trio of assured and confident finishes.
The Brazilian provides pace to the Tottenham attack and there is no player that can perform that role as well. Liverpool will likely dominate the game for long spells, like Ajax did. However, they can be caught on the counter attack, especially when opposition players run at them in transition. This was clear from the Reds’ recent struggles against Newcastle United. This showed vulnerabilities that could be exploited by the pace and direct style of Lucas.
The discussions involving Tottenham leading up to the game will be dominated by the fitness of Harry Kane. It would be a boost if the striker was available to start in the Champions League final. However, the selections of Son and Lucas in tandem could be more pivotal to the side getting another historic result.