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Southgate plans to unite Liverpool and Spurs players after UCL final

Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
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England manager Gareth Southgate reckons it will be a test of management skills to unite Tottenham and Liverpool players after the Champions League final.

Spurs and Liverpool will trade tackles in the Champions League final on 1 June, just five days before England’s Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands.

Southgate selected six Tottenham players with three Liverpool players for his initial 27-man squad for the inaugural Nations League finals in Portugal.

“We have got to make a quick but accurate assessment on where they are over those few days,” Southgate said.

“It will be a very individual thing having played in such a big game.”

Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson were on the losing side in last year’s final before linking up with England for the World Cup in Russia.

With an all-English final on the cards, Southgate admits the new scenario will present a different ball game.

“That will be the first time we have experienced that,” the coach told BBC Radio 5 Live. “We had Jordan and Trent come into camp last year on the back of a big disappointment and that wasn’t straightforward for them.

“So somebody is going to come in in that frame of mind, unfortunately. It is a unique situation. I guess the Spanish manager would have had that over a period of time in the past [two of the last five finals have been all-Spanish] and there will be others that have had to deal with it.

“That’s a test of our management skills and our collective spirit as a team. It’s the biggest challenge of all to compete against each other, then leave that at the door and remember with England we are a team, we support each other.

“That’s been a massive strength for us over the last 18 months.”