Champions League final 2018: What time will Liverpool vs Real Madrid kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?

Telegraph Sport
The wait is nearly over as two of football's heavyweights clash in Kiev - AFP

What is it?

Real Madrid and Liverpool will compete in the final of the European Cup - for the first time since 1981 - in a mouth-watering match to decide who will be awarded the coveted Champions League trophy. 

The defending champions and 12-time winners Real are bidding for their third successive title while Liverpool are seeking the sixth in their history.

When is it?

Saturday, May 26, 2018.

Where is it?

The 2018 Champions League final will be held at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine. It is the home of Dynamo Kiev.

The stadium previously hosted the Euro 2012 final and holds a maximum capacity of 63,000 - the second largest in eastern Europe.

What time is kick-off?

7.45pm BST.

What TV channel is it on?

BT Sport 1.

But you can also watch the match for free on the BT Sport app or via or follow the game here with Telegraph Sport.

Liverpool in Europe: Finals ranked and rated

What happened in the semi-finals?

In the first semi, Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich committed a huge blunder as holders Real edged into the final.

Ulreich missed a backpass to gift a vital second goal to Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu Stadium, and the Frenchman's double in a pulsating 2-2 draw ensured Real progressed 4-3 on aggregate.

Bayern had led early through Joshua Kimmich and a strike from James Rodriguez - who is on loan at the German club from Real - set up a tense finish. However, the hosts withstood considerable pressure to keep their bid for a third successive title on track.

The following night, Liverpool set up a repeat of their 1981 meeting against Real despite a first Champions League defeat of the season at the Stadio Olimpico.

A chaotic 4-2 semi-final second leg loss to Roma saw Liverpool progress 7-6 on aggregate, with victory secured thanks to Sadio Mane's 19th of the season and the rare sight of Georginio Wijnaldum's first away goal in almost three years.

A fortuitous own goal by James Milner inbetween had put the hosts back in the game, while Edin Dzeko's strike shortly after half-time ensured the Reds endured a testing conclusion and two late goals for Radja Nainngolan - including a penalty with the last kick of the game - came too late for Roma.

Roma v Liverpool

Can I still get tickets?

The window for buying standard tickets is now closed. It ran on Uefa's website from March 15-22. Hospitality tickets are still on sale on Uefa's website, with prices starting from €3,200 per person.

How do I get to Kiev?

The City has two airports, Zhulyany (8km south-west of the city centre) and Boryspil International (35km east). Public transport includes buses, trolleybuses, trams and an ever-expanding metro system.

Blaggers guide to speaking Ukrainian


Hello: Привіт – pree-vee'-t

How are you?: Як справи? – yak spra'-vee

Please: Будь ласка – bood la'-skah

Thank you: Дякую – dja-ku'-yu

Goodbye: До побачення – doh po-bah'-chen-ya

Where is the stadium?: Де знаходиться стадіон? – de zna-kho'-dee-tsja sta-dee-on'

Goal: Гол – Ghol

Most European Cups

What are they saying?

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said his team will be "on fire" for the final:

"We were in a League Cup final and didn't win it. People don't tell me in the street since then: 'Thank you for bringing us to the final'. We were in the Europa League final too. Nobody tells me thank you.

"I see no trophies after these games. They don't hang silver medals at Melwood. That's a pity, but that's the game. There's still a job to do.

"You cannot be more experienced in this competition than Real Madrid.

"I think 80 per cent of their team played all these finals. They are four times in the last five years and still together. They are experienced, we are not, but we will be really on fire."

Liverpool vs Real Madrid: Head-to-head Road to the final

Zinedine Zidane's side won their first two games but a home draw with Tottenham followed by a loss at Wembley meant they finished second in their group. Despite failing behind to Paris St Germain at the Bernabeu, they won 5-2 on aggregate in the last 16 then overcame an almighty scare against Juventus, advancing thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's last-gasp penalty despite a 3-1 home loss. A semi-final first leg victory in Munich proved pivotal as a 2-2 draw with Bayern in Spain got them over the line.

Liverpool had to come through a qualifying round against Hoffenheim and then drew the opening two games in their group. They also threw away a three-goal lead against Sevilla in a 3-3 draw but thumped both Maribor and Spartak Moscow to finish top of Group E. They beat Porto 5-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie, won both legs in the all-English clash with Manchester City and then saw off Roma 7-6 on aggregate following a 5-2 first-leg win at Anfield.

Who fizzed and who flopped in the Champions League semi-final decider?

Star men

Real have the current Ballon d'or winner. Liverpool may have the next one. Cristiano Ronaldo is the Champions League's all-time leading scorer - with 120 goals, Real Madrid's all-time top scorer and a four-time winner of the competition. Ronaldo, who turned 33 this year, has scored 42 club goals this season.

Yet Mohamed Salah has already exceeded that tally. The former Roma winger has enjoyed an incredible first season at Anfield, becoming just the third player in Liverpool history to score 40-plus goals in a single season and winning a slew of personal accolades. If he can outshine Ronaldo in Kiev, the ultimate individual prize may be next.


Zidane and Jurgen Klopp have experienced contrasting fortunes in finals. The former has won both of the Champions League finals he has been involved in as a boss. Meanwhile, Klopp has lost his previous five finals as a manage, including in the Europa League against Sevilla two seasons ago.

Jurgen Klopp celebrates with his players Credit: GETTY IMAGES


Real have not been as dominant as previous seasons, when their BBC (Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo) strikeforce was in full flow and Luka Modric and Toni Kroos ran the midfield. This team is more pragmatic. Centre-backs Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane and defensive midfielder Casemiro form a strong spine and Zidane can usually rely on Ronaldo for a moment of magic.

Klopp's gegenpressing style has been used to devastating effect this year thanks to the relentless front three of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Liverpool will pin their hopes on that trio and their harassing style.


This is a meeting of the two of the most decorated clubs in the competition's history. No team has won more European Cups than Real Madrid's 12. Los Blancos won five in a row between 1956 and 1960 and last year they become the first club to retain the title in the Champions League era.

Only Real and AC Milan have won more European Cups than Liverpool. The five-time winners' most recent success came in an astonishing 2005 final against AC Milan, who exacted revenge in the 2007 final. The Reds also beat Real in the 1981 final when Alan Kennedy scored the winner.

Goals aplenty made Roma vs Liverpool a semi-final to sing and dance about

Salah vs Ronaldo: A comparison

Liverpool and Real Madrid will be looking to Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo to make the difference for their respective teams on May 26. Here, we look at the numbers behind the two players' astonishing campaigns:

  • Club appearances (all competitions): Salah (Liverpool) 49, Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 41
  • Club goals (all competitions): Salah 43, Ronaldo 42
  • Domestic league goals: Salah 31, Ronaldo 24
  • Domestic league assists: Salah 9, Ronaldo 5
  • Champions League goals (includes qualifiers): Salah 11, Ronaldo 15
  • Champions League assists (includes qualifiers): Salah 4, Ronaldo 2
  • Braces: Salah 7, Ronaldo 11
  • Hat-tricks: Salah 0, Ronaldo 1
  • Four goals in a game: Salah 1, Ronaldo 1
  • Longest scoring streak: Salah 7 games, Ronaldo 12 games
  • Longest run without a goal: Salah 3 games, Ronaldo 3 games

*Includes all competitive games except internationals.

How Spanish sides have dominated past decade

What are the odds?

  • Real Madrid to win 6/5
  • Draw 11/4
  • Liverpool to win 2/1

What is our prediction?

Real have not been as dominant as previous seasons, although they still managed to see off PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich en route to the final.

If Liverpool are to win, much will depend on their front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and their harassing style. There will be goals aplenty, and this feels like Liverpool's time.

Predicted score: Liverpool win 4-3 in extra time.

Liverpool's Champions League campaign | In Numbers