Win or lose in Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final, I suspect this might be the last time we see Mauricio Pochettino in charge of Tottenham Hotspur.
I truly hope Pochettino doesn’t try a defensive, cautious approach. I want to see him dare to match Liverpool, who attack with wave after wave and no doubt will be typically relentless.
The key battle to all that, in my opinion, will be the battle of the fullbacks – or wingbacks, depending which formation Pochettino picks. Both midfields are even on skill, but Liverpool probably win the other match-ups, pound for pound, across the park.
For me, the game will be won and lost out wide.
Can Spurs, with a back three, try keep Liverpool’s phenomenal assist-machines at fullback – Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson – pegged back? That would give Spurs a numerical advantage in midfield.
The fullback battle is a bit of a game of cat and mouse – do you leave your runners and try get them on the counter attack? Who is going to have the bigger balls to throw numbers forward?
You know Liverpool will. Jurgen Klopp simply doesn’t know any other way.
It is why the start to this game will be absolutely unpredictable.
Spurs cannot start slowly as they did in Amsterdam; and there’s no guarantee the physical tactics that got them back into that tie will work either.
Fernando Llorente is not going to frighten Virgil van Dijk. In fact I was surprised with the way Ajax crumbled under the Spaniard’s pressure. Liverpool will certainly not be intimidated, especially with either Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, or James Milner sweeping up all the second balls.
For Klopp to make it back to the final, especially the way he did against Barcelona, is quite incredible. There are always people saying these managers need to prove themselves by winning a trophy – but not this time. Where they have brought these two clubs is a testament to both managers.
It is so tight; I’m calling it will go all the way to penalties. But when all is said and done, I’m envisioning Hugo Lloris lifting the trophy up in Madrid in the early hours of Sunday 2 June on Optus Sport.
Michael Bridges will join Richard Bayliss on the Optus Sport couch from 4am AEST this Sunday for live and exclusive coverage of Tottenham v Liverpool, alongside Thomas Sorensen and Craig Moore.
As told to Ash Obel...