Tottenham Hotspur are now almost exactly five days away from the Champions League final, which is set to kick off at 20:00 on Saturday.
Spurs head to Madrid with the knowledge that they will be playing a familiar opponent in fellow Prem side Liverpool.
The two clubs met twice in the Premier League this season, both of which were won narrowly by Jurgen Klopp’s men.
This season has been unique in the fact that both sides have been given 20 days free to prepare for the Champions League final, far more than the usual two weeks.
However, Pochettino now claims that he and his side are unable to prepare for such an event, as it is a situation they have never faced before, in a different stadium, with something new at stake.
If Spurs are to win the final, it will be their first trophy in over a decade, Pochettino’s first ever piece of silverware as a manager, and Tottenham’s first Champions League trophy.
Poch said (Football London): “It is going to be a completely difficult game. We cannot prepare for the final of the Champions League thinking about a few months ago or six months ago. When you play in the Premier League, or Carabao Cup or FA Cup the circumstances are completely different. It’s a competition in which we’ve never faced each other before. It’s going to be different. That is why our focus is completely on ourselves and what we are going to do or not do. I don’t care if it’s one or another team in front. In this case it is a team we know very well and they know us very well. But we didn’t prepare thinking of the game we played at Wembley or Anfield. It is Madrid. It will be the Champions League. The circumstances are completely different. It would be a massive mistake to prepare like we play in the past in other circumstances in a different competition.
“We cannot prepare the game, the final of the Champions League, like it’s the Premier League. Different circumstances, different competition, it’s not in England, Anfield or Wembley. It’s going to be a completely different game and we know each other well and the concepts. We’re not going to change the way we’re going to play, like Liverpool won;t, after three weeks. We are going to keep our principle. It’s going to be the emotional area and how we manage it will be key.”
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Let’s hope that Tottenham get the experience they need and want from Saturday. Ideally, next time Poch leads the club to a Champions League final, we want him to be able to say that he has prepared well because they have been there before. Liverpool are favourites for the tie, but Tottenham have been defeating favourites all season long in Europe.
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