By Chris Harris

Gael Clichy would rather have avoided an English team in the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League - but not because he fears Liverpool.

The French left-back agrees with Arsène Wenger's view that continental opponents bring a more authentic feel to the competition. However, Clichy is confident that Arsenal can prevail even if they need to beat Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United to taste European glory.

"I watched the draw at the training ground with all the guys and I was a bit disappointed because the Champions League is for playing against teams around Europe," Clichy told

"An Italian team or Spanish team would have been fantastic but Liverpool is not bad, they are a great side and it will be a great challenge. Actually it's not a surprise, I could feel it that we were going to get an English team.

"It is done now and at this stage of the competition it doesn't matter who you play against because all the teams have great quality. We know Liverpool, they know us, it will be like a Premier League game and we'll see what happens."

Arsenal and Liverpool will know each other better than ever after a quirk of the fixture list set up three meetings in the space of just six days. The two legs of their Champions League Quarter-Final sandwich a Premier League clash at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, April 5, but Clichy is not concerned.

"I don't think that affects the players at all," he said. "We did it last season when we played the FA Cup and Carling Cup together. In fact it's quite good fun because it doesn't happen much. We will look forward to it and hopefully we will come out as the winner."

The Cup double Clichy refers to brought two Anfield victories for Arsenal in the space of four days in January 2007 with a stunning aggregate score of 9-4. Clichy will settle for more of the same next month.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Chris Harris 18 Mar 2008