Chelsea and Liverpool share plenty of recent history in the Champions League semi-finals – but Thomas Tuchel is hopeful this year will not see another edition of the two sides going head to head.
The rival clubs met in the last four of the competition in 2005, 2007 and 2008, and will be set for another showdown if Liverpool are able to overcome their first leg defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Tuchel’s side have already made it through to the semis and await the winner, following their 2-1 aggregate victory over Porto.
The Blues survived a late scare to seal their progression after Mehdi Taremi’s outstanding overhead kick in stoppage time made for a nervy final few minutes.
But Tuchel has now admitted he would prefer to meet foreign competition again in the next round, rather than Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
“I don’t wish for nothing but in general I like it in Champions League not to play teams from your own league,” the Chelsea manager told BT Sport . “Because it gets a bit more the feeling of the European competition but that’s the only thing.
“Whoever deserves it – I think the game is far from over – but I will watch it for sure.
“It’s a pleasure to watch it as semi-finalists, a great achievement. We will watch these games and there is nothing decided yet. Everything is possible.
“Liverpool is very strong at home, the Premier League is strong. We take what we get, it’s a good situation for us.”
Klopp’s men have their work cut out after losing 3-1 to Madrid in Spain, but bring an away goal back to Anfield where they have plenty of experience in mounting huge comebacks.
The Reds also boast a 2-1 record over Chelsea in their semi-final encounters, while Madrid have reached the final and won the trophy on four occasions since the Blues’ last appearance in 2012.
But Mason Mount says Chelsea fear no one and are prepared for whichever side they come up against.
“We’ll take anyone. We’re ready for the fight. We’re ready for the battle,” the midfielder told BT Sport . “We get to sit down and watch it and analyse it. We’ll be ready for anyone.”
For Chelsea it is their first foray into the latter stages of the competition in seven years, while Tuchel is looking to go one better than his Paris Saint-Germain team did last season when they finished as runners-up.
PSG enacted their own revenge on defending champions Bayern Munich on Tuesday to book their place in the semi-finals in the other side of the draw, where they will meet the winner of Man City’s clash against Borussia Dortmund.