There has only been one topic of debate between my roomies and I for the last fortnight and that is the hotly anticipated Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. My roomy Bogoljub Karic is a staunch Liverpool fan and we have been speaking a lot recently about what Liverpool need to do in order to lift the trophy. Liverpool are rightfully favorites to win the match but that can bring with it a sense of complacency or even fear in the team. For what it is worth, here is what Bogoljub and I believe that Liverpool have to focus on in order to win.
The easiest match-up in the game from a Liverpool perspective is Andrew Robertson against Kieran Trippier. Trippier may have had a great couple of years and a wonderful World Cup, but this season he has been caught wanting on far too many occasions. Robertson on the other hand is having the season of his life and if he can get squared up to Trippier then he could very easily tear him apart and fire repeated crosses into the Spurs box. Sissoko will look to cover Trippier so Henderson will have to ensure that he provides protection.
Go and Get Them
Spurs have conceded 7 goals in 12 matches within the first 15 minutes of play, in fact although they beat Ajax eventually, they conceded two goals very early to put them on the backfoot. This is why Liverpool need to forget the occasion and get out of the traps quickly, putting pressure on Spurs and testing the back line as soon as they can, do this and they will see rewards.
When Liverpool have been at their best this season it has been when they have pressed hard and with high intensity. They may be a fear of the opponent beating the press and conceding a goal but Liverpool shouldn’t worry about this. With Virgil van Dijk marshaling the defense this gives the rest of the team a freedom to press hard and high, in order to find the cracks in the Spurs defense.
Double Up on Eriksen
When Chelsea played Spurs at Stamford Bridge this season Jorginho was playing very well and Spurs were able to get the win thanks to a masterful performance by Dele Alli, who stuck to him the entire game. This is what Liverpool need to do with Christina Eriksen who is more often than not the source of chance creation for Spurs. If Fabinho or Keita is able to nullify Eriksen then Spurs will need to resort to different tactics to get the ball up to the front men, something which they don’t want to have to do. With the exception of Lucas and Son Spurs don’t have a lot of raw pace and prefer to pass through the lines, without Erisken they won’t be able to do that.
If Liverpool get these things right, they will surely be heading back home with the trophy.