Weekend Wanderings: The big finale

It’s the weekend that football fans have been looking forward to, particularly if you’re a fan of Liverpool or Tottenham.

But away from the showpiece final there are still some important games ahead of this summer’s Women’s World Cup, which is just a few days away.

Here are the games you should look out for in this edition of Weekend Wanderings.

1. Who will take the honours in the all-English Champions League final?

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There are no prizes for guessing which match is top of the agenda this weekend as Liverpool and Tottenham face off in the first all-English Champions League final since 2008.

Taking place at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Saturday night’s clash looks like it could be one to remember.

For both Tottenham and Liverpool, it represents a chance to get that first piece of silverware under their current managers – despite all the good work both Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino have done neither has a trophy.

The Reds will understandably be the favourites for many considering their blistering league form, despite finishing second to Manchester City. They also have the benefit of experiencing last year’s final.

But if this year’s Champions League has taught us something it’s that anything can happen.

The fact that Liverpool and Tottenham have even made it to the final after the semi-finals is a miracle in itself.

Could we see even more ground-breaking drama this Saturday night?

2. Can England give us a more convincing display in their final warm-up match?

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Despite victory against Denmark last weekend, there was a sense that there is a whole lot more to come from the Lionesses.

Phil Neville’s side have the quality, but conundrums remain regarding system and which players will feature where.

This Saturday, the Lionesses get a final opportunity to iron out those niggles as they host New Zealand.

It’s the last game before their opener against Scotland in Nice on 9 June.

A convincing victory here will obviously help breed confidence among the squad, and it might just give us an inkling into what Neville has in mind for his World Cup line-up.

3. Will the Netherlands and Australia show us what they’re capable of at the World Cup?

On Saturday evening, two of the teams to keep an eye on during the World Cup – the Netherlands and Australia – go head-to-head in a friendly.

The Matildas, spearheaded by goalscoring machine Sam Kerr, are many people’s tournament favourites.

Having reached the quarter-finals in 2011 and 2015, they will hope to go better this year.

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From the Dutch perspective, while it may be just their second World Cup, they do go into this tournament as European Championship winners in 2017 following their stunning success on home soil.

With the likes of Barcelona’s Lieke Martens among their ranks they should be a team to keep an eye on.

Saturday’s game in Eindhoven is also set to have a crowd of over 25,000 – another example of what this tournament can do for attendance figures – and should be a perfect showcase of what is to come in France.

4. Can Spain show what they’re made of against the 2015 World Cup runners-up?

On Sunday we have another warm-up game ahead of the World Cup as Spain take on 2015 World Cup runners-up, and 2011 winners, Japan.

The Spanish side has a massive Barcelona contingent who of course enjoyed a run all the way to the Champions League final – some would say ahead of schedule.

To be precise, 10 players from that Barcelona team have been named in the Spain squad.

Meanwhile Japan go into this tournament with a completely new look about them from the teams that were so successful in 2011 and 2015.

It’s a younger squad this time around and, although they remain ranked seventh in the world, there is still plenty to learn about the team.

It will also be an eye-opening fixture for Lionesses fans as Japan are in Group D with England.

5. What can we learn about South Africa and a Hegerberg-less Norway?

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South Africa, who are going into their first World Cup, will be eager to show what they are made of.

It represents a chance to show how much African women’s football has come on in recent years.

Before the tournament starts, on Sunday they face a Norway team where the talk has centred around who isn’t there.

Much has been made of Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg not being part of the team, over an equal working conditions dispute, but the warm up game and tournament gives players who are there a chance to be centre stage.

The Norwegian contingent includes Chelsea’s Maria Thorisdottir and Maren Mjelde so they are certainly a team to be taken seriously when it comes to the tournament itself.

Follow Alasdair on Twitter at @adjhooper1992

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