Stage set as Liverpool, Chelsea meet again in Europe

The latest chapter in Liverpool and Chelsea’s seemingly never-ending European saga will be written on Tuesday when hostilities resume in the Champions League for the fourth successive season.

Including domestic matches, it will be the 19th time the two clubs have faced each other in the last four seasons. Next week’s 20th meeting will decide who faces either Manchester United or Barcelona in the Moscow final on May 21.

Liverpool have triumphed in both previous semifinal clashes, while two group matches ended goalless in the 2005/06 season.

However, unlike the semifinals of 2005 and last year, this time the first leg is at Anfield where Liverpool will attempt to build a healthy lead to take to Stamford Bridge for next Wednesday’s second leg.

Chelsea, who will be without the suspended Michael Essien, hope Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack will be fit while Frank Lampard will return to the side after missing the last two games because his mother has been seriously ill.

Liverpool are hoping that captain Steven Gerrard will recover from a neck injury and be fit to play. — Reuters

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