We take a look at three things to watch out for in the build-up to this iconic all-English final at Madrid this weekend.
Will Salah make his second chance count?
Mohamed Salah missed a majority of Liverpool’s Champions League final against Real Madrid last season due to injury as the Reds slumped to a 3-1 defeat in Kyiv.
However, the Egyptian winger will be available and raring to go this time around, which will serve as a massive boost for the Merseyside giants.
Salah missed Liverpool’s 4-0 win against Barcelona in the semi-final, but his return will mean that Xherdan Shaqiri will have to make way for him in the right-wing position.
The winger’s pace, dynamism and seemingly telepathic combination with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will be key to Liverpool’s chances of lifting the trophy this time around.
Will Harry Kane start?
The biggest question heading into this Champions League final is revolving around the availability of Harry Kane. The England international, earlier this week, confirmed that he will be ready and fit enough to feature in the final.
However, there are still doubts about his timely recovery. And according to club legend Glenn Hoddle, Tottenham should not start with Kane even if he’s fit.
“I’m absolutely delighted that he’s fit, but I definitely wouldn’t start him. I think what a sight it would be for the Spurs fans and his team-mates if he’s there with half-an-hour to go and the game is hanging on an inch or is heading into extra-time,” Hoddle said.
Therefore, it will be interesting to see whether Mauricio Pochettino will opt to include Kane in the starting lineup or utilise him as a super-sub – a decision that could have a massive impact on Tottenham’s fate this weekend.
James Milner or Georginio Wijnaldum?
While Tottenham fans hope for the timely return of Kane, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp faces a selection dilemma in midfield, where he will have to decide between James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Milner was the one who started in the 4-0 win over Barcelona. The veteran midfielder showed tremendous tenacity and kept the heat pressure on the opposition midfielder.
However, it was Wijnaldum, who became the X-factor by scoring two goals after replacing Andrew Robertson after half-time.
This time, however, Klopp will have to choose between Milner and Wijnaldum in the extra midfield slot in his preferred 4-3-3 setup, with Robertson a guaranteed starter.
While the Dutchman could be given the nod, and for obvious reasons, Milner’s experience and composure under pressure could be key in such a big encounter.