Liverpool against Chelsea [ Images ] is the most eagerly anticipated Champions League [ Images ] quarter-final first leg this week despite the pair having met in the competition in each of the last four seasons.
Liverpool's stunning form at home and abroad and Chelsea's resurgence under interim coach Guus Hiddink [ Images ] make for an intriguing all-English tie rather than a boring fifth instalment of what has usually been a cagey affair.
Rafa Benitez's [ Images ] side, who beat Real Madrid [ Images ] home and away in the last round and also humbled Manchester United [ Images ] recently to reopen the Premier League title race, have home advantage on Wednesday with the return leg in London [ Images ] on April 14.
"The players are known by the managers, the players know each other very well, the managers know how they play, so it's very open and very tight. Benitez has proven he is a very smart manager. I'm looking forward to this battle."
Familiarity is a theme across the ties with holders Manchester United hosting Porto on Tuesday, five years after the Portuguese club knocked out Alex Ferguson's [ Images ] side on their way to winning the 2004 Champions League.
Striker Dimitar Berbatov [ Images ] misses out with an ankle injury.
"When I go out to face Arsenal for the first time since leaving, there will be a lot of emotion," he said. "But I'm sorry Arsenal fans, if I can play well and eliminate them then I'm going to do it. But for Villarreal, not for me."
Spanish league leaders Barca entertain fellow heavyweights Bayern Munich [ Images ] on Wednesday in the only tie without English interest.
Bayern are reeling from a 5-1 thrashing by Wolfsburg on Saturday which dented their hopes of retaining the German title.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard [ Images ], joint top scorer in the Champions League this term, is equally on fire and will have to be at his best to help beat a side he once almost joined.
He has already given the club a boost ahead of the tie by joining coach Benitez and Dirk Kuyt [ Images ] in signing a new contract.
Liverpool beat Chelsea in the 2005 and 2007 semi-finals while they drew 0-0 twice in the 2005/06 group stage. The Londoners finally overcame their bogey team in extra-time in last season's semi-final before losing to United in the final.