History suggests Liverpool have an immediate advantage over Tottenham Hotspur in their Champions League final, one that should worry Spurs.
Both English teams pulled off dramatic comebacks in their respective semi-finals, setting up a showpiece event that few saw coming.
But as they head to Madrid, Liverpool certainly have history on their side.
Spurs are the first debut-finalists since Chelsea in 2008. It’s a huge achievement, of course, but the recent history of debut-finalists is far from good.
In fact, you have to go back to Borussia Dortmund in 1997 to find one that lifted the trophy. It’s not a small, sample, either – Valencia, Bayern Leverkusen, AS Monaco, Arsenal, and Chelsea have all lost their first final in that time.
Liverpool have been here before, of course. Eight times, to be precise, winning five. Say what you want about it being a different set of players – history shows that the club’s previous success plays a part.
And on top of all that, this current set of Liverpool players have been here before. They lost to Real Madrid last season but the experience could be vital. They simply won’t let the occasion get to them. We saw last season how much that matters – one team looked assured like they’d been there before, the other had mistakes in them.
Spurs have already made history, though, just by playing Liverpool in the final. They’ve got no precedent to follow, no experience to fall back on.
They’ll be the first players with the badge on their shirt to step out into a final and as history shows, that usually works against you.