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Heavyweight meeting sparks fond memories

The only previous contest between European heavyweights Liverpool FC and FC Internazionale Milano back in 1964/65 was a classic and hopes are high of a repeat.

Liverpool FC and FC Internazionale Milano have not met in UEFA competition since Bill Shankly held the Anfield reins and Giacinto Facchetti and Sandro Mazzola were blossoming into greatness at San Siro. A memorable European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final contest unravelled in 1964/65 with Liverpool winning the first game 3-1 before their advantage was overturned in Milan as the home team ran out 3-0 victors.

• The triumph helped Inter to their second successive final as they went on to retain the trophy and, in their continuing search for a first UEFA Champions League crown, will be hoping this rematch after a wait of 43 years proves a happy omen.

• On 24 October, the prospect of remaining on Europe's greatest stage beyond Christmas seemed a distant possibility for Rafael Benítez's men. They had just recorded their second defeat in three games, losing 2-1 away to Beşiktaş JK, and the Group A table showed them with just a single point, gained in a 1-1 draw at FC Porto on Matchday 1.

• The Reds then won their next three fixtures, scoring 16 goals and conceding only one, concluding with a 4-0 victory away to Olympique de Marseille which clinched second place in the section with ten points, one less than Porto.

• Liverpool have met Italian sides on eleven occasions and played AC Milan in both their UEFA Champions League finals.

• They will fondly recall the 2004/05 showpiece in Istanbul when they lifted the trophy after a penalty shoot-out following a remarkable fightback from 3-0 down. Last season the Rossoneri seized the opportunity for revenge with a 2-1 triumph in Athens. At this stage last term Liverpool dismissed FC Barcelona, winning 2-1 in Spain before losing 1-0 at home, while Inter bowed out to Valencia CF on away goals.

• After the first meeting with Inter in 1965, Liverpool went on to lose two of their next three home fixtures with Italian visitors, beating Juventus in the 1965/66 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup preliminary round but then being second best to Genoa CFC and AS Roma in UEFA Cup ties. Since then, Anfield has proved a fortress against Serie A opposition with Roma and Juventus both losing there.

• Liverpool, who, like Inter, are looking for their third quarter-final appearance in four seasons, have also met Roma and Juventus in European Cup finals, beating Roma on penalties at their opponents' own Stadio Olimpico home in 1984 before losing to the Turin club the following season in Brussels. Four months earlier they had also faced Juventus in the UEFA Super Cup in Turin, losing 2-0.

• Inter have been successful on three of their nine visits to face English clubs and have won the last two convincingly, both in the UEFA Champions League. They won 4-1 against Newcastle United FC in the 2002/03 second group stage and 3-0 at Arsenal FC in the group stage the following season. Earlier, they had won 1-0 at Norwich City FC in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup.

• The Nerazzurri's first trip to England took them to Merseyside and Everton FC, who they held to a 0-0 draw in the preliminary round of the 1963/64 European Cup, winning the home leg 1-0. In nine home-and-away ties they have won six and lost two while one of them, against Aston Villa FC in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup, ended with the aggregate scores level. The English side went through on penalties.

• The Nerazzurri's eighth attempt to win the UEFA Champions League began with defeat at Fenerbahçe SK but they followed that with five successive wins to finish on top of Group G with a four-point advantage over their Turkish rivals. The Italian champions won away at PFC CSKA Moskva 2-1 and PSV Eindhoven 1-0.