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PARIS - Liverpool's reputation for turning on the style in Europe will face the acid test on tonight when they face on-form Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
On a night when Liverpool's domestic rivals Chelsea host Juventus, Real are looking good to strike the first blow in a two-leg encounter that gives the winners passage to the Champions League quarterfinals.
A 6-1 hammering of Real Betis on Saturday, complete with a brace apiece from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Raul, moved Real to within seven points of leaders Barcelona.
Despite Liverpool traditionally coming out fighting in Europe whatever their progress at home - an approach that led them to the 2005 Champions League title - nine-time European champions Real are brimming with confidence.
Liverpool drew 1-1 with Manchester City on Saturday, leaving them seven points behind reigning English and European champions Manchester United, and with a mountain to climb .
To make things worse, influential captain and midfielder Steven Gerrard remains doubtful as he battles a hamstring injury.
Chelsea's newly-appointed Dutch coach Guus Hiddink appears to have won the hearts and minds of his reportedly troubled squad ahead of their meeting with the Juventus team of former coach Claudio Ranieri.
Hiddink, appointed following the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari, will take charge at Stamford Bridge for the first time today after leading his side to a 1-0 Premier league away win at Aston Villa.
Juventus are second in Serie A, nine points behind leaders Inter Milan.
Bayern Munich meanwhile are hoping to have Italian striker Luca Toni back from injury for their away trip to Sporting Lisbon.
Real Madrid v Liverpool; Chelsea v Juventus; Sporting Lisbon v Bayern Munich; Villarreal v Panathinaikos. - Sapa-AFP