Liverpool FC and Juventus FC meet for the first time in 20 years intent on producing a sporting occasion to savour.
By Simon Hart in Liverpool
Fabio Capello's talk of the special atmosphere of Anfield during his pre-match press conference will have evoked memories of many a memorable European night at Liverpool FC's famous home.
Another one awaits on Tuesday as his Juventus FC side come to town on an evening that will be rich with emotion. Liverpool and Juventus are meeting for the first time since the 1985 European Champions' Cup final at Heysel - an occasion blackened by the death of 39 fans - and listening to Capello and his Liverpool counterpart Rafael Benítez speak on the eve of this UEFA Champions League quarter-final, the shared desire to produce an occasion memorable for sporting reasons was evident.
"Anfield more than any other English stadium has an atmosphere that can really carry the team," said Capello. "To get a result we will have to be focused, committed and play with a lot of character. There is a wonderful atmosphere here and I am proud to be coach of the Juventus side that is playing Liverpool 20 years on from the Heysel tragedy. The best way to put that night behind us will be to play a good match."
Benítez, albeit in fewer words, said much the same: "The most important thing is to talk about football, about positive things and about the future." The Spaniard is justified in positive thoughts too, having seen his side move within a point of fourth-placed Everton FC in the Premiership last weekend after defeating Bolton Wanderers FC, their third win in four matches.
Question of consistency
Consistency has escaped Liverpool for much of Benítez's first season in England and he himself knows that, in this respect, his team cannot compare with that of Capello, a man whose methods he once studied during a visit to Milanello, the training ground of AC Milan.
"We know we need to be more consistent, more aggressive and to play with as high a tempo as possible," said Benítez. The Spaniard cited in mitigation the fact of being a "new manager in a different country" but he is certainly well versed in winning in Europe - as he proved with Valencia CF - and Capello is too canny to underestimate a team he believes play with a "special spirit" in the Champions League.
Liverpool are again without the cup-tied Fernando Morientes and Mauricio Pellegrino, meaning Sami Hyypiä will join Jamie Carragher in central defence, but they can also call on striker Milan Baroš, presently suspended in the Premiership. Also returning is the fit-again Jerzy Dudek while Xabi Alonso, sidelined since late December, could be among the substitutes.
Juventus's formidable home form means a good result here is key for Liverpool against opponents with just two wins from 15 visits to England. "They are very, very strong at home, don't concede goals and have a lot of good players," said Benítez. "They can score at any moment. We need to win and, if possible, to win with a clean sheet."
Keeping clean sheets is something Juventus do better than anyone else, conceding just twice in eight Champions League matches. With the postponement of all football in Italy last weekend, however, they have not played since 19 March, and Capello is worried they may have "lost perhaps a little continuity".
David Trezeguet's swollen ankle means he should start on the bench and Marcelo Zalayeta has a back problem but Pavel Nedved and Emerson should be fit to play in midfield, where Alessio Tacchinardi is suspended.