Liverpool-Tottenham Champions League final 'too close to call', says John Barnes

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Former Liverpool player John Barnes says their Champions League final against Tottenham on Saturday is 'too close to call'

Former Liverpool player John Barnes says Saturday's Champions League final between his old club and Tottenham is "too close to call".

The Reds have a much greater pedigree in Europe than their opponents, having won 11 trophies compared to Spurs' three.

Jurgen Klopp's side also finished two places and 26 points better off than Mauricio Pochettino's men in the Premier League this season, but Barnes says he is having trouble picking the winner.

He told Sky Sports News: "Obviously I'm hoping for a Liverpool win, but it's too close to call.

"I know how they'll play; they'll play as consistently as they've played all season. They'll put on a performance but that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to win because Tottenham are a good team.

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane attends a team training session at Tottenham Hotspur's Enfield Training Centre, north London, on May 27, 2019 ahead of their UEFA Champions League Final football match against Liverpool. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images) 1:33
Rafa Benitez says it would be a risk for Tottenham to start Harry Kane in the Champions League final, but Edgar Davids believes he can play without being fully fit

"With Harry Kane I think they're a better team. Without Harry Kane they may not play as well but they have individuals who can win games by themselves, as Lucas Moura showed. You've got Son, Dele Alli - great players.

"Liverpool will put on a performance, but that's what they've done all year. With Tottenham we don't know; however, that's dangerous. They don't have to play, as in the second half against Ajax they won the game in the second half with individuals."

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In the build-up to the final in Madrid, Klopp said his current squad is the greatest side he has taken to a cup final during his 18 years in management.

However, Barnes does not feel that will have a bearing on the contest with Spurs, saying: "People have taken their best teams to cup finals and lost.

"In cup matches anything can happen, no matter how well you play. The league shows you who the best team is; in the cup, you don't have to be the best team to win. You don't even have to play well necessarily to win.

Edgar Davids, Rafa Benitez and John Barnes
Image: Edgar Davids, Rafa Benitez and John Barnes were speaking at a panel discussion at the Hotels.com Champions Retreat in Madrid

"This may be the best team he's taken to a cup final, but that's no guarantee that we're going to win. It's a complete one-off.

"If we had to play Tottenham ten times, over the ten games we'd probably get the edge over them - but anything can happen.

"But the pleasing thing is we know what we're going to get from Liverpool in terms of a performance."

Rush: Reds' experience will be massive

Liverpool icon Ian Rush believes their experience in European finals, including last season's 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League in Kiev, will be crucial against Tottenham.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League final last year
Image: Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in the 2019 Champions League final

Asked if that know-how will make a difference, he told Sky Sports News: "Yes, very much so. Liverpool got to the final and most probably overachieved last season, but it was an absolutely fantastic journey.

"They set the standards last season and they've bettered them this year. I think that experience will be a massive difference against Tottenham."

Rafa Benitez, Edgar Davids and John Barnes were talking at the Hotels.com UEFA Champions League Retreat in Madrid. Hotels.com is the Official Travel Partner of the UEFA Champions League.

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