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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Kiev prepares to host Real Madrid and Liverpool in Uefa Champions League final on May 26 - in pictures

The finishing touches are being applied to the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev

The finishing touches are being applied to the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev as the Ukraine capital gets ready to host the Uefa Champions League final at the end of the month.

Two-time defending champions Real Madrid face Liverpool in the May 26 showdown. Madrid, looking to win the European Cup for a record-extending 13th time, take on five-time champions Liverpool who are playing in their first final since 2007.

Liverpool recently concluded their domestic campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Premier League, ensuring their participation in next season's Champions League if they can successfully negotiate a play-off.

Of course, they could eliminate that need by beating Madrid on May 26 and qualifying automatically for the 2018/19 edition.

Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian superstar, will spearhead Liverpool's attack. The forward's opening goal in the final-day victory over Brighton & Hove Albion set a new league record for number of goals in a 38-game season of 32.

Opponents Real Madrid have the ultimate weapon when it comes to Champions League knockout games: Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Fifa World Player of the Year has 15 goals in this season's competition, five more than Salah, with both instrumental in successfully guiding their respective teams to Kiev.

Ronaldo's spectacular bicycle kick against Juventus in Madrid's quarter-final first leg even had Juve fans applauding, and his late penalty against the Italian club in the final minute at the Bernabeu in the return leg showed nerves of steel.

Salah's goals against Manchester City in the last eight and his one-man demolition job of Roma in the semi-final first leg at Anfield will live long in the memory.

Who will prevail on May 26?

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Read more:

Team of the Season: Five Manchester City players join record-breaker Salah

Why Liverpool will go on to win the title

Why Real Madrid will win the Champions League

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