Wednesday's League Cup tie against Swansea City at Anfield was always going to draw interest mainly for pitting Brendan Rodgers against the club he used to manage, but it also marks a reunion for Joe Allen.
Until he joined Liverpool over the summer, in fact, Allen had spent more than half his life playing football for Swansea, having joined the Welsh side at the age of nine and spending the next thirteen years—bar a one month loan spell at Wrexham where he played in two games—there.
"It is going to be a strange fixture for me," Allen admitted, "and I'm looking forward to coming up against some good friends at a club I was at for many years. It will be an interesting game and one I'm looking forward to."
Given the length of time spent at his boyhood club, moving up the ranks as he refined his game and grew into a Welsh international and one of the most composed British-trained footballers in the game, calling his first match going up against Swansea "interesting" is probably a bit of an understatement.
There is, however, some reason to doubt whether Allen will actually see the pitch on Wednesday given the ninety minutes he played against Everton on Sunday and that Rodgers will almost certainly need him against Newcastle on the weekend. If the player is truly looking forward to it, though, and not simply trying to make the right noises, then there's always the chance Rodgers could be convinced.
And even if Allen is looking forward to Wednesday, when he spoke to the media his mind was still at least in part lingering on Sunday's derby match—and, as was the case for his captain, on the poor decision that cost Liverpool the win in stoppage time.
"It was a great feeling for a split second because we thought we had won the game," he said. "Credit to Everton and the way they fought back, but we feel disappointed we didn't get the three points as we had a goal dubiously disallowed right at the end which would have given us the victory."
Still, despite the disappointing end to Sunday's match, Allen was eager to look for positives in the draw against Liverpool's local rivals:
"It was a tough and physical battle but we expected that and I enjoyed it. Goodison Park is a tough place to come for anyone, so at least with the point we maintained our unbeaten run and we want to climb up the table as high as possible.
"We are heading in the right direction and this was another positive performance from us."
Whether he starts or not, Wednesday offers the club the chance to take another positive step if they can get past Swansea and secure a spot in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.