The Liverpool-Chelsea Champions League odyssey enters its fifth chapter on Wednesday, with the English rivals preparing for a quarterfinal match expected to be as tight as all their annual European duels since 2005.
Of those eight matches, the Premier League sides have played out four draws and won two apiece. Before Chelsea won last year's semifinal series, the previous six Liverpool-Chelsea meetings in European competition had produced just three goals.
The teams know each other so well that even Rafa Benitez, Liverpool's master tactician in Europe, will be struggling to produce a surprise element at Anfield.
Although praising Benitez as a "very smart manager," Chelsea's interim manager Guus Hiddink said there were no secrets in modern football.
"The players are known by the managers, the players know each other very well, the managers know how they play, so it's very, very tight," Hiddink said. "I'm looking forward to this battle, but in the end we can plan what we want - the players, they have to execute it and it always depends on those little details in the execution."
The only constant in recent years has been Benitez, who was in charge when Liverpool edged Chelsea in the semifinals and then lifted the trophy in 2005 with a win over Milan.