Old guard face new threat

Tonight's UEFA Champions League quarter-final ties are simply too close to call.

History is clearly on the side of Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona tonight. The FA Premiership side have won Europe's most prestigious club tournament four times, the Catalan giants once, but have reached the final on three further occasions. Panathinaikos FC, losing finalists in 1971, and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have no such heritage.
Home comforts

Yet the German side are four points clear at the top of the 1. Bundesliga and have produced some telling performances in this season's UEFA Champions League, including home wins over Barcelona, Juventus FC and RC Deportivo La Coruña. Moreover, they held Liverpool to a single-goal victory at Anfield.

Away-day returns
Yet Gérard Houllier returns to the bench for his first away game since September and the French manager is super confident that Liverpool's 1-0 lead from the first leg will suffice. It is a logic that is hard to argue with since his side have not lost on their travels in Europe since the 1998/99 season, a run of 15 matches.

No pressure
Panathinaikos, too, have impressed in the tournament this year and there will be no pressure on them at the Camp Nou tonight. All of that will be on Carles Rexach's side, who have under-performed this season and have no other silverware to play for after failing to challenge in each of Spain's domestic tournaments.

Greek tragedy
Yet the passionate Catalan crowd will welcome back Rivaldo and Luis Enrique for the visit of the Greek side, a strikeforce of real menace when placed alongside Javier Saviola and Patrick Kluivert. But it is the Barcelona defence who will have to stand firm as an away goal would surely be fatal. Both games are simply too close to call.

Live coverage
uefa.com is the place to be for live coverage of these delicately balanced ties. Follow every kick of the ball in our unique match centres, which combine live text commentary and live statistics and do not forget that uefa.com is the only website to bring you highlights of each Champions League match on the night of the game.