Rarity value abounds as Champions League returns

Nov 30, -0001
Wherever you look this week in the Champions League, be it Madrid, Milan or London, intrigue, personality clashes and rarity value abound as the 16 survivors in the continent's elite competition set their sights on Rome.

On Wednesday Real Madrid host Liverpool in the Spanish capital in the first competitive meeting of two of Europe's powerhouse clubs since the 1981 final.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will view the tie as a welcome break from the depressing realisation that his side's chances of winning the English title are vanishing rapidly in a cloud of dust kicked up by a rampant Manchester United.

He will be crossing his fingers that midfield general Steven Gerrard, rated as 50-50 on Sunday, will have recovered from a hamstring injury in time to face a side who warmed up with a 6-1 thrashing of Real Betis on Saturday. REUTERS

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