Real Madrid have failed to reach the quarter finals of the Champions League for the past five years. This time, Steven Gerrard's Liverpool stand in their way. Over in Turin, Juventus host Chelsea in Wednesday's other showdown.
REUTERS - Liverpool travel to Real Madrid for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday with their hopes, as so often before, resting on Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard, a man truly deserving of the tag "inspirational midfielder", has travelled with the squad but is not certain to play having been out for three weeks with a hamstring strain.
Liverpool are half a team without him and even with the talents of Spanish striker Fernando Torres available, they need all their assets to have any chance of upsetting the nine-times champions on their own patch.
Last year's runners-up Chelsea are at home to Juventus, coached by former Stamford Bridge manager Claudio Ranieri.
Bayern Munich travel to Lisbon to take on Sporting and Villarreal host Panathinaikos.
In Tuesday's action only Arsenal managed a decisive result when Robin van Persie's penalty gave the Londoners a 1-0 home win over AS Roma.
Holders Manchester United and Serie A leaders Inter Milan were goalless in the San Siro, Barcelona drew 1-1 at Olympique Lyon and Atletico Madrid and Porto drew 2-2 in Spain.
Date created : 2009-02-25