Champions League 17-18 Final – Real Madrid vs Liverpool Preview

When? Saturday 26th May, 19:45 (UK)

Where? NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium

What channel is it on? BT Sport 2

Are tickets still available? SOLD OUT

Where can I stream the match? The match can be streamed for free via the BT Sport website and app

HEAD-TO-HEAD
All-time meetings: Real Madrid W2, Liverpool W3

REAL MADRID

Predicted line-up: Navas; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema

Unavailable:

Doubtful:

LIVERPOOL

Predicted line-up: Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Unavailable: Matip (Injured), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Injured), Gomez (Injured)

Doubtful: Milner (Injured), Can (Injured)

LOWDOWN
European club football’s showpiece event is finally upon us as Real Madrid take on Liverpool in this weekend’s Champions League final. Kyiv is the setting as the last two teams in the competition battle it out for continental supremacy.

This fixture will be a repeat of the 1981 European Cup final, one that saw Liverpool come out on top thanks to a late Alan Kennedy goal. His winner in Paris meant that the Merseyside outfit won their third trophy in the space of five seasons.

That kind of continental dominance has not been witnessed until recent times as Real Madrid have brushed past nearly all that has gone before them. Los Blancos have won three of the last four editions of the competition and will look to tighten their grip even further with victory in Kyiv.

Admittedly, neither team comes into this final with the best of form but that also comes with the caveat that it has been obvious to see that both Real Madrid and Liverpool have had more than one eye on this clash of the European titans.

For Real Madrid it is a chance to silence the critics once more as many had written the club off earlier in the campaign. Many felt that after defeat to Tottenham in the group stages we were witnessing the end of this great team’s cycle at the top of Europe’s summit.

However, since the turn of the year they seem to have to saved their best performances for this competition and it is that ability to dig deep when it really matters which has seen them book another final appearance.

For Liverpool it is a sign of the progress that the club are making under Jurgen Klopp. At first it seemed to be small steps under the former Borussia Dortmund manager but now it is looking more like giant strides.

Undoubtedly Mohamed Salah has been the key catalyst for that this season. The Egyptian has already broken a Premier League goal scoring record during his first campaign on Merseyside while also wining a whole host of personal accolades.

Although this Real Madrid side have silenced many in the last few months, Liverpool will certainly feel they have weaknesses that can be exploited, especially if they can play at the lightning fast tempo that blew both Manchester City and Roma away in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.

This should be a final for the ages, one that will provide days of celebrations for one team while providing a large amount of soul searching for the other. Will it be a sixth success for Liverpool or will Real Madrid make it a lucky 13?

article by Dan Tracey