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Liverpool Listed As Favorites to Win Champions League After Defeating Barcelona in Semifinals

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk's addition to Liverpool this year has been influential in their run to the Champions League final. Photo by David Blunsden/Actionplus/Icon Sportswire)
  • Reds are pick to beat Tottenham
  • Klopp’s men made extra-ordinary comeback
  • Spurs fought back to beat Ajax

Liverpool are in front as the early favorites to win the battle of the comeback kings against Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final. The final is set to take place at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 3:00 pm EST.

After the dramatic victories by both English teams in the semifinals, many will expect the collision in the Spanish capital to be unpredictable and free-scoring.

But it is the side from Anfield which shattered the earlier tournament pick Barcelona in the semifinals. Liverpool’s average Champions League odds are now -200.

Tottenham vs Liverpool UCL Final Odds

Team Odds at Bovada
Tottenham +160
Liverpool -200

*Odds taken 05/9/19

Spurs, who eliminated Ajax in equally extra-ordinary circumstances are rated at +160. This is the more inviting bet.

Liverpool overturned a 3-0 first leg deficit to defeat Barca 4-0 and reach the final for the second successive year.

Liverpool overturned a 3-0 first leg deficit to defeat Barca 4-0. They have  reached the final for the second successive year.

Stunning Amsterdam Recovery

Tottenham came from 3-0 down on aggregate at half-time in the second leg in Amsterdam to win 3-2 on the night.

After Ajax’s 1-0 victory in the first leg, the London club advanced on the away goals counting double rule.

The football world has been thrilled by the exploits of both EPL sides.

The unlikely nature of their triumphs is summarized by the fact that after the semifinal first legs, neither club was favored to advance.

Klopp’s Team Outsiders After First Leg Hammering

Jurgen Klopp’s team had been listed at a wide +2000 to get past Lionel Messi and Co after their first leg defeat.

Spurs were seen as +1000 outsiders after their first leg defeat to eliminate a vibrant, young Ajax side who had already got past Juventus and Real Madrid.

In the EPL, second-placed Liverpool will also be involved in a dramatic conclusion to the season on Sunday, May 12 in the final shoot-out for the title with leaders Manchester City.

After initially being rated at -175 to win the final in Madrid, Liverpool quickly shifted to -200. Spurs moved out from +135 to +160.

In the EPL, second-placed Liverpool will also be involved in a dramatic conclusion to the season on Sunday, May 12 in the final shoot-out for the title with leaders Manchester City.

It will have little bearing on the Champions League final, however.

Reds Are Five-Time Winners

Liverpool have won the competition (formerly the European Cup) five times previously in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984 and 2005 which partly explains their status as favorites.

Tottenham are in their first final, having been semifinalists in 1961-62 and quarterfinalists in 2010-11.

Their manager, Maurico Pochettino, will be leading a team in a European final for the first time.

The Merseyside club were beaten 3-1 in last year’s final by Real Madrid and lost against AC Milan in the 2007 final.

Spurs have not appeared in a European final since 1984. They were the first British club to win a European trophy when they lifted the now defunct European Cup Winners Cup in 1962-63.

They won the UEFA Cup – also now defunct – in 1971-72 and 1983-84.

Klopp Heartache in European Finals

Liverpool boss Klopp has a good record of reaching European finals but has yet to win one.

At Borussia Dortmund, he lost the 2013 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

At Liverpool, he lost the 2016 Europa League final against Seville and the 2018 Champions League final against Real Madrid in Kiev.

Pick: Tottenham +160

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John Dillon is a leading member of the UK's sporting media, having spent three decades as a national newspaper soccer and sports writer, broadcaster and author. He has covered five World Cups, six European Championships and was Chief Sports Writer at the Daily Express for 14 years.