Champions League: Why have Liverpool, Real Madrid, Man Utd kick-off times changed?

Champions League: Why have Liverpool, Real Madrid, Man Utd kick-off times changed?

18 September 2018 Tuesday 10:02
Champions League: Why have Liverpool, Real Madrid, Man Utd kick-off times changed?

THIS season’s Champions League gets underway tonight but kick-off times are different to normal. 

Liverpool and Barcelona both start their campaign this evening with the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United playing tomorrow.

But they will not kick off at the usual 7.45pm time with UEFA implementing changes to the rules.

Liverpool and Real Madrid reached last season’s final, which Los Blancos won 3-1 thanks to a Gareth Bale double.

And Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is backing his side to go one further this time around.

He said: “Of course we can make the final again.

“I am sure we can win the tournament. I think we can win both, Champions League and the Premier League.

“I don't want to put pressure on, but everything is possible.”

What are the new kick-off times in the Champions League?

Kick-offs in the Champions League this year will replicate those in the Europa League.

In previous years, matches in Europe’s premier competition began at 7.45pm with the exception of a handful of matches played in locations such as Russia.

The Champions League kick-off times have been changed (Image: GETTY)

Real Madrid are the current Champions League holders (Image: GETTY)

But this season, matches will kick-off at 5.55pm and 8pm.

Two matches will generally take place in the early slot, with the remaining six at 8pm through the group stage.

UEFA are set to review this change at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Barcelona and Tottenham are first to feature in the early kick-offs with the clubs facing PSV Eindhoven and Inter respectively at 5.55pm.

Kick-offs in the Champions League will now be at 5.55pm and 8pm (Image: GETTY)

Why have the Champions League kick-off times changed?

UEFA hope that more fans will now be able to watch the matches due to different times.

It’s also hoped that the change will boost international figures resulting in increased revenue.

While the plan may work on a worldwide scale, it leaves European fans in a rush to get home for the earlier kick-off slots.

For fans in Australia and Asia, a 5.55pm kick-off time will see the match begin at 12.55am instead of 2.45am.

Those fans will be glad of getting to bed slightly earlier, at least.

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