Jurgen Klopp has expressed his relief at avoiding fellow Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea in the draw for the quarter finals.
Should Liverpool get past Real Madrid, however, they may not be able to dodge a meeting with a English side for long, as the winner of the tie is set to face either one of Chelsea or Porto in the semis.
“I think we are all the same: Bayern doesn’t want to play Dortmund, for example, because they are from the same country and for us, it was City and Chelsea,” the German told liverpoolfc.com. “If we can avoid as long as possible then you do it, but all the rest, it was clear we would face a tough opponent.”
Have Liverpool been granted the best possible route through to the final?
While it’s still extremely early to be thinking about red shirts streaming onto the pitch, past the gleaming Champions League trophy, at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, we’ve hardly been given the worst hand after the draw.
Though many hoped for Porto, a clash with Real Madrid is hardly the worst tie we could have been handed; looking ahead, a semi final meeting with either one of the Portuguese champions or Premier League rivals Chelsea doesn’t seem insurmountable.
That’s not to say we’re underestimating our opposition, however, and we’ve no doubt that every side in this competition will pose a notable and demonstrable threat.
Nonetheless, with echoes of our 2005 Champions League-winning campaign reverberating down the timeline, it’s hard not to be excited about the prospect of another final in Istanbul.