For the fifth consecutive time, Chelsea and Liverpool are drawn against each other in the Champions League. So often is it happening that this is forming a kind of tradition. History sides with Liverpool, but it has not all been one way. Last year, Chelsea managed to knock Liverpool out of the competition (with some Liverpool help).
This year has been very dramatic for both the teams. Chelsea and Liverpool were ruling the domestic table in the season's beginning. Then a series of uncharacteristic draws and losses found Chelsea and Liverpool competing for second place with Manchester United probably securing yet another League victory.
This year was even more special for Liverpool, as it has been ages since they have been this close to the much-coveted domestic title.
They even did a double over their long time rivals Manchester United. All this will probably still not secure the title for Liverpool. Champions League trophy now is their only realistic shot at silverware.
Chelsea replaced Avram Grant with Luiz Felipe Scolari and the Brazilian started the campaign with flair.
However, when Benitez provided the blue print to combat Scolari's tactics, it has been a rocky progress from then on. From ruling the table, they had slipped to fourth place, and the season that started with so much hope suddenly looked a lost cause.
The blue print was so good that Liverpool have done the double against Chelsea too (a moral boost that should give them the mental edge over Chelsea).
So rocky was the road that the club felt it had to part ways with the Brazilian even before the season was over. Hiddink's arrival has helped Chelsea regain their winning ways. But, they seem to have found their lost form a bit too late to win the domestic title. The Champions League trophy now is their only realistic shot at silverware.
Hiddink and Benitez remain two successful managers who will both be keen to deliver some silverware to their respective team. This will be Hiddink's first clash with Liverpool and Rafa can scrap his blueprint that helped him defeat Scolari's Chelsea. Another chapter in the clash of the titans is about to be written.
Are we ready for it?
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