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Tottenham v Liverpool: BT Sport writers predict who will win Champions League final

BTSport.com writers give their score predictions ahead of the huge all-English final in Madrid, exclusively live on BT Sport 2 and 4K UHD from 6pm on Saturday 1 June.

After a remarkable Champions League campaign, Tottenham and Liverpool are ready to renew hostilities on the grandest stage of them all in Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano.

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Both sides battled back from the brink of early elimination and reached the final in extraordinary circumstances – the first to feature two Premier League sides since Manchester United beat Chelsea in 2008.

After narrowly missing out on the Premier League, Jurgen Klopp is looking to crown a record-breaking season with his first piece of silverware as Liverpool boss a year after they lost in the final against Real Madrid.

Tottenham confounded all expectations by making the final and Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping to be in European dreamland once again on the biggest night in the club’s history.

All of the action is live and exclusive on BT Sport. Read our complete guide for full broadcast information and a big-match preview.

Here, BTSport.com writers predict how events will unfold in Madrid.

Chris Bryant – Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

I’m backing Liverpool to take care of business. Everyone rightly praises their attacking prowess but I have a sneaky suspicion that their strength at the other end of the pitch could prove decisive in Madrid.

History shows that a solid rearguard is a key prerequisite for trophy-winning teams and Liverpool are vastly superior to Tottenham in this department.

Yes, having the best defensive record in the Premier League wasn’t enough to help the Reds pip Manchester City to the title.

But let’s not forget they lost just once during that incredible 97-point campaign (in arguably their hardest game, at the Etihad).

Spurs, meanwhile, have been beaten 19 times in all competitions this season. Form may well go out of the window in finals, as the old adage has it, but I know who I’d rather have my money on to keep the clean sheet that would surely guarantee the trophy.

Virgil van Dijk and company won’t be anywhere near as accommodating as Ajax, whose defensive naivety and lack of game management were huge factors in Spurs’ remarkable second-half escape act in Amsterdam.

I can see it being close for an hour but then I expect Liverpool to pull clear down the home straight. I’ll go 2-0 Liverpool.

Rob Cottingham - Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool

Yes, the pressure will be on Liverpool in Madrid. After missing out on the Premier League by one point, Liverpool must win the Champions League final. Lose and Klopp’s side will be remembered as the greatest nearly men of the modern era.

But Liverpool have learned from their experiences with pressure this campaign. After a mini-wobble of three draws in six, the Reds reeled off nine straight league victories to end the season, denied the title only by City’s relentlessness.

In contrast an out-of-sorts and tired-looking Tottenham limped to fourth place with just one win in their last five league matches.

Liverpool are justifiably favourites. They finished 26 points ahead of Tottenham and won both of their encounters.

While Tottenham are fretting over the fitness of their top scorer, Liverpool are set to welcome back Roberto Firmino – a player vital in creating space for his fellow forwards.

Even without Mohamed Salah and Firmino, the Reds thrashed favourites Barcelona 4-0 in the semi-final second leg. With Liverpool’s front three reunited, Tottenham’s defence could be in for an even tougher evening than the Catalans.

Liverpool will also have learned lessons from last season’s run to Kiev and that experience could make the difference in Madrid. 

Pochettino has worked wonders this season but his thin Spurs squad are much lighter on Champions League know-how than the holders Real Madrid were. Loris Karius will also not be keeping goal.

The two Premier League meetings have both finished 2-1 to Liverpool. In Madrid, we will see the same outcome.

George Mills – Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool

This game will be won and lost by either side’s wing backs. In Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, Liverpool can lay claim to having two of the best in world.

The pair have contributed 23 assists between them in all competitions this season, an eye-watering return that demonstrates their ever-present threat from the wide areas.

In response, Tottenham are likely to call upon Danny Rose but out-of-form Kieran Trippier could lose his place to Serge Aurier given the former Burnley man’s miserable end to the season.

Whoever plays at the Wanda Metropolitano will have their work cut out keeping track of Liverpool’s tireless twosome – yet if they manage to mute both Robertson and Alexander-Arnold, the Reds will be starved of their most consistent providers and could struggle to break down an experienced Spurs back line.

I expect Harry Kane to start despite Lucas Moura’s heroics in the semi-finals; likewise Roberto Firmino over Divock Origi for Liverpool.

For me, Firmino’s return is more of a factor than Kane’s: the Brazilian has superb football IQ and transforms Liverpool as an attacking force, providing a host of intangible positives to the team as a whole.

Both managers will be desperate for this win but given Klopp’s European pedigree, I’m backing the five-time winners to make it six with a 3-1 win over Tottenham.

Ross Kelsall - Tottenham 1-2 Liverpool

Liverpool finished 26 points ahead of Tottenham in the Premier League and won both head-to-head matches 2-1.

Add to that they have the experience of playing in a final after going down 3-1 to Real Madrid last season and have lost just once in their last 14 meetings with Spurs.

That alone suggest it’s in the bag for Liverpool then surely?

While I do make Klopp’s men favourites, hence backing them for another 2-1 win, I don’t actually think it’s going to be quite as clear cut as that.

I’m backing the Reds mainly because of how resolute and difficult to beat they have become, rather than the attacking talent they undoubtedly possess.

Even in the games they have lost this season, away at Barcelona and Manchester City for example, they could easily have got something had they taken their chances.

Tottenham’s record against fellow ‘big six’ teams under Pochettino also concerns me, but I have a nagging doubt that Spurs have destiny on their side.

As daft as it may sound, when Chelsea won it back in 2012 they defied all the odds and somehow lifted the trophy despite being on the brink of exiting the tournament several times.

Could lady luck be with another London team on Saturday?

Tim Williams – Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool

The 26-point gap between Tottenham and Liverpool in the Premier League is a barometer of the gulf in class between the two sides over a 38-game season but Spurs arrive in Madrid free from the weight of expectation.

Liverpool have had 20 days to regroup after falling short in their bid to win a first Premier League trophy in 29 years on the last day of the season, but time won’t be a great healer if Liverpool have nothing to celebrate at the end of a record-breaking season.

Klopp’s side will be reliant on their potent attacking force to score an early goal, but if Spurs take Liverpool into deep waters on equal terms, the Reds are more likely to feel the pressure.

Moreover, Klopp goes into the final seeking to end a six-match losing run in finals – most recently a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in last year’s final.

Tottenham’s domestic form nosedived in the tail end of the season, but they were blighted by injuries and had to balance a stretched squad across two competitions.

Now with the sole focus securing a first ever Champions League trophy, and with a certain Harry Kane back in their ranks, they’re ready to bookend a remarkable European journey with yet another odds-defying triumph.

Read more of BTSport.com's fantastic features ahead of the Champions League final.

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