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'Liverpool's European experience will be key' - Warnock backs his old club to beat Spurs in Madrid final

7:49 PM GMT+8 27/05/2019
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The ex-Reds defender feels Jurgen Klopp's side have a crucial advantage against Tottenham heading into the 2019 Champions League final

Liverpool's recent experience in European competition gives them the edge over Spurs in this year's Champions League final, according to Stephen Warnock.

The two sides will meet at Wanda Metropolitano on June 1, with the Reds chasing a sixth European Cup win while the Lilywhites seek their first piece of continental glory.

Jurgen Klopp's men reached the same stage last year, only to be beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid and they also suffered defeat against Sevilla in the 2016 Europa League final.

The German boss will be hoping it'll be third time lucky for his charges, as he aims to end his incredible run of defeats in major finals.

Klopp has finished as a runner up in six consecutive cup competitions at both Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, with a lack of silverware undermining his progress at Anfield thus far.

However, Liverpool knocked Barcelona out in impressive fashion in the semi-finals and are favourites to lift the famous trophy once again in the Spanish capital.

Warnock, who played for the Reds between 2002 and 2007, feels his old employers have the upper hand against Spurs, as he told Sky Sports: "Liverpool's experience of having been in three European cup finals in three years will be key because they know what to expect in the build-up to the game and the hype around it, the expectation.

"I think Liverpool have that advantage. I look at Tottenham and think they can beat them, but the biggest fear is getting beaten by them.

"That is the biggest worry because to get to a Champions League final and then get beaten by another team from the Premier League is a tough pill to swallow."

The former England full-back stopped short of writing off Tottenham completely, however, given their youthful squad and a perceived lack of pressure on the biggest stage.

Mauricio Pochettino's men overcame Ajax in dramatic fashion in the last four and the Argentine is one step away from guiding Spurs to their first trophy since 2008.

"There is always that pressure that if you lose you've lost the Champions League final - you've got to swallow that for the rest of your life," Warnock added.

"But they're quite a youngish squad and they might think they may not have this opportunity again in their careers.

"Reaching the Champions League final is a great achievement and they might think the 'pressure is off, enjoy the game'.

"That's the way I think you have to look at it when you are playing in an event like this. You try to put it to the back of your mind and play with freedom."

Warnock also compared the current Liverpool squad to the one which won the 2005 Champions League under Rafa Benitez, suggesting that Klopp has a stronger unit at his disposal.

"The difference in this squad and our squad at the time is that they have built momentum over two or three seasons," he continued.

"They are real contenders and they have got goals all over the pitch. It's not that we relied on one player, but if you look at (Steven) Gerrard's performances, it was often if he played well, Liverpool played well.

"If you look at what the Liverpool team have now, they have just got class all over the pitch and on the bench as well."