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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 18 October, 2019

'You can't lose 19 games and win the European Cup... You'd say: 'you're talking bo***cks''

Graeme Souness believes Spurs are ‘lucky’ to be in this year’s Champions League final.

Virgin Media pundit Graeme Souness pictured at Virgin Media Television’s launch to celebrate Finals Week with live coverage of the UEFA Europa League Final & the UEFA Champions League Final.
Virgin Media pundit Graeme Souness pictured at Virgin Media Television’s launch to celebrate Finals Week with live coverage of the UEFA Europa League Final & the UEFA Champions League Final.
Image: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE

GRAEME SOUNESS BELIEVES Tottenham are “lucky” to be in this year’s Champions League final, but feels they have a chance of upsetting Liverpool on 1 June.

The 66-year-old Liverpool legend, who also spent time on the books at Spurs as a youngster, says the tie is only marginally in the Reds’ favour.

“I think Liverpool are the obvious favourites,” he tells The42. “I don’t see it being an odds-on game. When you try to attach logic to football, you come unstuck.

“I’ve been at Anfield the last two years where Spurs will think they were maybe unlucky not to win a year ago.

“Spurs will have a feeling they can win the game, of course they’ll have a chance, but I think it’s 60:40 Liverpool.

“When you look at the two groups of players, Liverpool have better players. Eight times out of 10, the better players will always win on the day.

Spurs, when you look at the way they’ve got there, they’ve lost 19 games all season. That tells you they’ve lost stupid games. They’ve rolled over, loss of concentration at vital times. You can’t lose 19 games. If you go back at the beginning of the season and say ‘this team is going to lose 19 games in all competitions but win the European Cup, you’d say get out the house, you’re talking bollocks. But that’s a possibility.”

Plenty of pre-match talk has focused on Spurs striker Harry Kane. The England international has not played since picking up an injury in their Champions League first-leg clash with Man City on 9 April, but Souness believes he is likely to be ready for this weekend’s final.

“I think you might be guided by the player. But Harry Kane might be the type of player you have to protect from himself, because I think he’s such a good type. Even if he wasn’t 100%, he’d want to play. I believe he will be right, it’s two months since he did his injury.

“When you do your ankle, it’s so sore right away. It swells, gravity takes everything down there and you think ‘I’m going to be out for a while.’ But after 48 or 72 hours, you think it’s not going to be as bad as I first thought. 

“Looking at him, he’s back in full training so I’d expect him to start. It’s a hard call he’s got to make, but I’d expect him to start.” 

Much has been made this year of the Premier League teams’ dominance in Europe, with the finalists in Europa League and Champions League all from the same country for the first time ever. Souness, however, is not reading too much into this stat.

It’s an easy thing to say, but if you look at the two [Champions League] semi-finals — Ajax could easily have beaten Spurs and Barcelona could easily have [gone through] against Liverpool. Like with all games of football, there’s a bit of luck involved.

“The best two teams in Europe right now are City and Liverpool, but City didn’t enjoy the luck at the right time and Spurs are there.

“You need a bit of luck with everything and I think this year Spurs are the lucky team going into the Champions League final. 19 games is a hell of a lot of games to lose. If you’re a manager of a team that loses 19 games, normally you’re not saying you’ve had a good season. If you’re a Liverpool supporter, you must be thinking: with the way Spurs have got there, is their name on the trophy already?”

Virgin Media Television is the home of European Football this week with live coverage of the Uefa Europa League Final on Wednesday 29th May from 6.30pm on both Virgin Media Two & Virgin Media Sport and the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday 1st June from 6pm on Virgin Media One & Virgin Media Sport.

- Originally published at 13.08

Gavan Casey is joined by Murray Kinsella and Sean Farrell for a review of the 2018/19 season, and cast an eye forward to next year and the Rugby World Cup in Japan.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Paul Fennessy

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