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'I expect Liverpool to turn up and steamroller Spurs' - Souness makes Champions League final prediction

18:01 BST 31/05/2019
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The Premier League rivals will meet in Madrid and the former Reds captain wonders if Tottenham will continue to ride their luck at Wanda Metropolitano

Graeme Souness has backed Liverpool to 'steamroller' Tottenham in Saturday's Champions League final in Madrid, but he suggests Mauricio Pochettino’s side can dare to believe destiny is on their side.

Spurs reached the final after a dramatic away goals victory over Ajax in the semi-finals, having earned a late reprieve against Manchester City in the quarter-finals, while also only scrambling out of the group phase thanks to a late equaliser away to Barcelona.

Speaking exclusively to Goal at a Virgin Media Sport event in Dublin, former Liverpool captain Souness stated his belief that Jurgen Klopp's Reds will deliver the club's sixth European title in Madrid, but he warned the underdogs could continue to 'ride their luck' all the way to the biggest trophy in club football.

"I expect Liverpool to turn up and steamroller Spurs this weekend, but part of me wonders whether there will be a twist in this tale," began Souness.

"If we said there would be a team in the Champions League final from England that lost 19 games in all competitions, you would never have believed it. Tottenham have done that and they are very lucky to be there and logic suggests their luck will run out on Saturday, but attaching logic to football is rarely productive.

"So, despite me saying Liverpool are big favourites in this final, it doesn't mean Tottenham can't win on Saturday and one factor is in my mind when I say that. If I was in the Liverpool dressing room, I'd be thinking is their name is on the trophy? They have lost all those games and yet they have come through against Manchester City and Ajax in the Champions League when they were so close to losing and that shows they have got resilience.

"When one team has better players than the other, they will win nine times out of 10, but we have witnessed what can happen in cup finals before when the big team doesn't turn up and they are shocked.

"The key to winning a massive game like this is making sure you don't get caught up in the moment. You need to start well and don’t hand the initiative to the opposition. They preached that to us in every cup final we played, start well. 

"When I joined Liverpool, I went to a team that were serial winners. I had only been at the club four months and I was playing in a European Cup final at Wembley. It wasn’t like we were sat in the dressing room feeling concerned. 

"There was never a doubt we were going to win it, never any nervousness. You look around the dressing room at players who have done this the year before and that gives you great comfort. When you win it, you hope young players will look to you for that kind of inspiration. 

"Liverpool don’t have that experience of winning things and Spurs certainly don’t have that. Make sure you start well, concentrate on your own game, get your job done first."

Souness argues just one Tottenham player would get into the Liverpool team, as the three-time European Cup winner believes the team with the clearest mindset will prevail.

"When you put the two teams down on paper, not many Tottenham players would get into that Liverpool team," stated the former Liverpool captain. "Harry Kane would get in and possibly Christian Eriksen at a push, but beyond that I'm struggling. That's why I see Liverpool winning this Champions League final. 

"This is a Liverpool team that has no obvious weakness and no-one enjoys playing against them. That's why they only lost one game in the Premier League all season, but they have yet to win their first big trophy and Klopp knows he needs to get over that hurdle now.

"Tottenham will be coming up with a plan of how to stop their opponents, yet Liverpool will go out and play their game and for a majority of the time this season, that has been enough. I expect it will be good enough once again on Saturday."

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