A journey which began way back in September comes to a close Saturday when the UEFA Champions League final kicks off in in Paris as Liverpool face Real Madrid. Thirty-two teams battled through the group stage and through a wild knockout stage, but just two teams remain with the coveted silverware on the line. After 124 matches played, 379 goals, and countless memorable moments, fans around the world now get a rematch from the 2018 final with two storied clubs going at it once again. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET at the Stade de France, and we’ll be with you before, during and after for all the Champions League final coverage you need.
Here’s our storylines for thefinal, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
Date: Saturday, May 28 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
TV: CBS | Live stream: Paramount+ (Try it free)
Location: Stade de France — Saint-Denis, France
Studio: Kate Abdo, Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards
Commentators: Clive Tyldesley and Rob Green | Rules expert: Christina Unkel
On-site: Peter Schmeichel, Jules Breach, Jenny Chiu and Guillem Balagué
Odds: Liverpool +104; Draw +270; Madrid +245 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Live updates: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid
Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Casemiro, Modric, Valverde, Kroos; Benzema, Vinicius Jr.
Liverpool XI: Allison, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Mane, Salah, Diaz.
Liverpool: Mohamed Salah said it best back on May 4, taking to Twitter after beating Villarreal in the semifinals. “We have a score to settle,” he wrote in a tweet. Make no mistake — Liverpool want revenge. After that 2018 final, they want nothing more than to see Real Madrid on their knees in tears come the final whistle. As you may recall, that was the match where Sergio Ramos went all “Macho Man” Randy Savage on Salah, dislocating his shoulder, ending his appearance in the final and nearly putting his World Cup participation at risk. In addition, Loris Karius had himself a nightmare performance in goal. Not only did he gift the first goal to Karim Benzema, he conceded on a bicycle kick to Gareth Bale and then had a blunder on a late shot by the Welsh attacker from a good 35 yards out. Since then, Liverpool have achieved European glory by beating Tottenham in the 2019 final, so the Reds know how special the feeling is. Doing it against this Real Madrid team may feel even better.
Real Madrid: Not many saw this Real team making it this far. Remember, they lost at home to tiny Sheriff Tiraspol in the group stage. But since then, they have been on an absolute tear with the most in-form player in the world in Karim Benzema. They pulled off a comeback against PSG in the round of 16, they did it again against Chelsea in the quarterfinals, and then they had the Madrid miracle against Manchester City — two goals after the 90th minute from Rodrygo to force extra time before Benzema’s winning penalty kick. They’ll enter this match with ultimate confidence, but they also won’t panic if they go down early. They’ve shown time and time again that they are never out if it, and they are the true kings of the history of this competition. Liverpool may have the better players overall, but don’t discount a Carlo Ancelotti-led side. He’s 3-1 all-time in UCL finals.
Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.
Liverpool: The biggest issues facing Liverpool right now are in the midfield. Fabinho has been dealing with a thigh injury but is expected to be fit for the game, but Thiago Alcantara is the latest to pick up a knock, coming of at the half against Wolves on Sunday with an Achilles injury. His status for the final remains unclear, but if he can’t go, that’s a huge missing piece for the team’s creativity in overall possession. Without Thiago, the midfield would likely be Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Naby Keita. The latest on Thiago is that he has traveled and trained with the team, pointing to him potentially seeing the pitch on Saturday.
Real Madrid: David Alaba is the only injury concern at the moment. A minor leg injury saw him rested for the La Liga champions’ final match of the domestic season against Real Betis. He’s expected to be available, with Ancelotti simply aiming to be cautious with the Austrian defender ahead of the biggest game of the season. Otherwise, Real appear well rested entering this showdown in Paris.
The Reds win their seventh UCL crown, getting revenge for the 2018 final, this time with a competent display in goal and Salah scoring the winner on a penalty kick. Pick: Liverpool 2, Real Madrid 1