Harry Kane vs Roberto Firmino: Who will decide the UEFA Champions League final?

The UEFA Champions League final just got a lot more interesting.

As expected, Tottenham Hotspur talisman Harry Kane has been passed fit and is expected to play some part against Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

The Spurs No.10 limped off just before the hour mark during their quarter-final clash against Manchester City in early April. He suffered "significant lateral ligament" and was expected to miss the rest of the season.

But the 25-year-old, who has found the back of the net on 24 occasions this season, is back.


"I feel good. There have been no problems so far," Kane said recently.

Whether Mauricio Pochettino calls upon Kane from the start is an entirely different matter. But Spurs have their main man back. He’s a match-winner, a game-changer and a difference-maker. As a starter or off the bench, Kane poses a threat to Liverpool’s bid for their sixth European title.

But the Reds have had their own confidence boost over recent days. Roberto Firmino, who hasn’t played 90 minutes since the 2-0 win over Cardiff City in April, is once again back in training having shaken off a muscle injury.

Jürgen Klopp’s men negotiated a tricky tie against FC Barcelona without their enigmatic Brazilian but his return will bolster their chances of defeating Spurs for a third time this season.

With both teams now having their key attackers back in the fold, it leaves the two coaches with selection headaches going into the first Champions League final since 2008 to feature two English sides.

Heung-min Son, Lucas Moura and Fernando Llorente all played a big part in helping Spurs reach the final with Kane sidelined. Each will believe he has a case to start ahead of the captain, with Kane short of match fitness.

But when you have a player of Kane's ability at your disposal, can you really keep him on the bench in the club's first Champions League final? 

Spurs found a way to play without Kane. They found a way to win. Changing that dynamic to accommodate him is risky. But he delivers results in the form of goals. In a one-off match, you need goalscorers on the pitch and there are very few better than the England captain. 

Klopp finds himself in a similar predicament. His No.9 won't be match fit but Firmino is key to the way Liverpool play. The clash in Madrid will be tactical and the Reds will need the Brazilian if they're going to get the better of their Premier League rivals.

That means Divock Origi will have to settle for a place on the bench. It was his brace against Barça which fired the Merseysiders to their second successive Champions League final. He's chipped in with big goals this season and there's no bigger match than a European final. 

Both coaches have big decisions to make. 

Both men have reached the final having taken risks. Pochettino went all-out attack against Ajax in the second half in Amsterdam and was rewarded with three goals.

Meanwhile, Klopp made a big call by starting Xherdan Shaqiri and Origi at home to Barcelona. Others might have opted for the more tried and tested, perhaps integrating Daniel Sturridge in attack. 

It's a winner takes all match to end the season. Logic, to an extent, goes out of the window. For example, is a big 60 minutes from a star attacker with a point to prove better than a 30-minute cameo off the bench when the game needs changing? After all, It's a game of fine margins. 

All eyes will be firmly fixed on the use of the two attackers. And both coaches will be judged on how they decide to use them.