Often, the most hyped games are the most disappointing. However Arsène Wenger believes tonight's Champions League Quarter-Final first leg with Liverpool will live up to its billing.

Understandably, all-English ties always hog the domestic headlines. However, in the past, these "Battles of Britain" have been little more than cautious skirmishes, albeit packed with pressure. The last two involved Liverpool and Chelsea, with the Anfield side coming through in forgettable matches.

However Wenger believes the style of his side will force a different kind of game this evening.

"I don't know why," he said at his pre-match press conference, "but, against us, teams are always there. We go for it and that gives the other team a response, always.

"Against us, Liverpool have always had good and pacy games. I can't speak about Liverpool versus Chelsea, but Arsenal versus Liverpool have always been good games. Maybe it'll change, we'll see, but I'm not convinced.

"I would say it will be a British-style Champions League game for one very good reason - it is a knockout. We are on the train and we want to stay on it but somebody has to go out. Liverpool will make it tight and play on the break more than in the Premier League so every goal is so vital. The concentration is a bit higher and the intensity is higher. So I expect it to be a bit different to the Premier League."

And, certainly, while the teams and the stadiums are English, the referee will be foreign.

"That will make it a bit different," agreed Wenger. "The Continental referees are more interventionist so sometimes the fluency of the British game can go a bit.
"But I don't mind who the referee is - I never spend much time before games thinking about who is the referee. I have no influence on that."

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2 Apr 2008