If you study all the form and tournament data ahead of the forthcoming Champions League final, it is hard to find anything positive to say about Tottenham’s chances in Madrid on 1st June. Despite being a two-horse race, between two of England’s top teams, Liverpool are the clear favourites to claim a sixth European Cup, against a Spurs side seeking their first title at this level. And it’s easy to see why considering the following.
In the recently completed Premier League season, the Reds of Merseyside finished 26 points clear of the north Londoners. Liverpool only lost once in 38 games, a narrow 2-1 defeat in early January against all-conquering Manchester City.
Spurs, meanwhile, were defeated 13 times in league matches, which is more than once every three games. It is likely we’ll see this echoed by the tipping experts at https://betting.betfair.com/football/football-tips/, with the same platform having pegged Liverpool’s odds of lifting the trophy at 8/15 at the time of writing.
Over the past four months, Liverpool suffered just a single defeat in all competitions – the first leg of their semi-final tie against Barcelona at Camp Nou. Of the 13 matches played since 5th March, they have won 13.
As for Spurs, at one stage early in 2019, they were still in the title race before the wheels came off and they ended up crawling over the finishing line to claim the Premier League’s fourth and final Champions League spot for next season. It was just as well for them that Arsenal and Manchester United completed their seasons in abysmal form.
Tottenham’s end of season form in all competitions has been far shakier. Since 20th February, they have played 17, won six, drawn two and lost nine. This included just three wins from their final 12 league games, all of which were at home against the not-so-mighty trio of Crystal Palace, Huddersfield and Brighton.
Despite reaching the final in the Spanish capital, their Champions League form over the season has been a little patchy too, other than a comfortable two-legged victory against Borussia Dortmund in their Last 16 tie. After finishing level on points with Inter Milan in Group B, they made it through on away goals in their head-to-head with the Italian club. And they relied on two more away-goal successes at the quarter-final and semi-final stages, in order to reach the title-decider in Madrid.
The stats don’t make for great reading in this category either. They have lost both league fixtures against Liverpool this season, and have won just one of their last 14 meetings with the club from Anfield. In those 14 matches, Liverpool enjoy a goal-difference of plus 16.
Finally, Spurs are still largely novices in European competition, especially the latter stages of them. They last won a European trophy – the UEFA Cup – 35 years ago, while their most recent success in a final came in 2008 when they lifted the League Cup following extra-time against Chelsea at Wembley. Looking ahead to the match, Tottenham’s star striker Harry Kane has been out of action since April 9th, and if he is fit to play in Madrid, will he be risked in such a big game?
Meanwhile, Liverpool reached the Champions League final 12 months ago, when they were beaten by Real Madrid. This was the eighth time they had contested the showpiece occasion of Europe’s premier club competition.
So it all looks bad for Spurs ahead of their biggest match for almost six decades, which is also bad news for Manchester United fans, but better news for Arsenal supporters who probably want Liverpool to succeed. We’ll all find out on Saturday 1st June.