UEFA CL Final: Wijnaldum, Firmino start, Kane returns

Mazino Dickson

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As the football world waits with baited for the final of the UEFA champions league, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has included  midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum in his starting line-up to face Tottenham Hotspurs at the Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain.

The Dutch International was the principal reason for Liverpool’s stunning 4-0 spanking of FC Barcelona in the return leg of their semi-final clash; scoring two goals in a fiery second half blitz that stunned the football world in May.

Wijnaldum will play in the midfield alongside captain Jordan Henderson and Brazilian defensive-midfield kingpin Fabinho.

Manager Klopp has also sloted Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino in attack; having gone missing due to injury.

That means Belgian striker Divock Origi – who scored two goals including the winner against Barcelona in the “Anfield thriller” – will start from the bench.

Tottenham Hotspurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has also given English striker Harry Kane a starting berth – after nearly two months out injured.

The Argentine coach also gave another English player a place in the starting eleven – Harry Winks.

Winks has also had his bout with injuries; but has forced his way back into the match-day squad.

As a result Brazilian International Lucas Moura has been relegated to the bench – despite his heroic hat trick that helped the North London side overturn a three-goal deficit in the semi-finals against Dutch side Ajax of Amsterdam.

Both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspurs are likely to deploy a 4-3-3 formation that would see lots of running and wing-play in what many analysts believe would be the best advert for English football.

Liverpool have won the title 5 times and could make it number 6 if they win in Madrid on Saturday, but Spurs are motivated to join the European football elite by winning their maiden trophy at this level.

The referee for the 2019 Champions League final will be Damir Skomina.

The 42-year-old Slovenian is an experience referee, who has been FIFA listed since 2003.

Damir has taken charge of four Champions league matches already this season, including Manchester United’s 3-1 win against PSG in the last 16.

He was also the first referee to cancel a Champions League goal after using VAR, which took place in the match between Ajax and Real Madrid in February 2019.

FULL TEAM LIST

Liverpool XI:

Tottenham XI: