When Liverpool and Tottenham enter the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium pitch on Saturday night for the UEFA Champions League final, the 67,000 fans in Madrid won't be the only ones rapt with anticipation.

Nearly 10,000 km away, Japanese supporters of the two English Premier League clubs will be huddled shoulder-to-shoulder in bars across the country, awaiting the 4 a.m. kickoff and a chance to watch their team be crowned European champions.

"Viewers and fans in Japan are extremely loyal," says soccer commentator Ben Mabley, an Englishman who has become a familiar voice on Japanese-language Premier League broadcasts over the last seven years. "To watch teams who play in the middle of the night, you have to be. People who have decided 'this is my team' will stick with them."