Liverpool have a chance to secure silverware on Sunday, which will undoubtedly paint the club's season in brighter colours than fans have been staring at so far. News of a huge Europa League last 16 tie with fierce rivals Manchester United cannot detract from what is a considerable test for Jürgen Klopp and his players.
Manchester City may have been thrashed by Liverpool earlier in the season but remain a potentially formidable opponent. Home defeats against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur this month have derailed a title challenge in Manuel Pellegrini's last season at the club, exposing a lack of focus in a talented squad. Pep Guardiola's arrival will herald a revolution of sorts, but Pellegrini and his players are still in the hunt for three trophies.
Can Liverpool channel the spirit of November's 4-1 surprise victory at the Etihad? It was a game that truly announced the talent of Roberto Firmino in English football and confirmed the wiles of the former Borussia Dortmund manager for any doubters out in the vastness of uncool space. The capabilities of Firmino and Klopp should not be in questioned in any case, and the 48-year-old Liverpool manager is looking to that stunning performance for inspiration on Sunday.
"We made a video of this game," Klopp revealed. "It showed us the way and how it works. You can't perform like this every day, but we have used that game for a lot of analysing to know what's possible with this squad. Tactically, it was really good. We will keep it in our minds until we get a better one. Hopefully we can do better. But I won't talk here about tactics. Even in Manchester they have televisions!"
Klopp might not want to give too much away but was certainly keen to share what he had observed on Wednesday when Manchester City beat Dynamo Kiev. Manuel Pellegrini's side look like the only English side likely to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Whether they're consistent enough to best the stronger teams left in the competition is open to debate, but there is enough quality in that squad to wake up for big occasions.
With Vincent Kompany back in the heart of Manchester City's defence and David Silva looking more like a maestro, Liverpool could be facing a wounded beast ready to strike twice in a week. Yaya Touré scored a crucial goal to give his side a more comfortable advantage with a delightful long-range strike, and there might just be more support for the deadly Sergio Agüero.
"They played differently on Wednesday with a high rhythm and aggressive defending," Klopp said. "Sometimes they defend deeper and give you the chance to force mistakes. You need to respect the development of Man City since we last played them. Having Silva back makes a big difference. Kompany back and all their full-backs are in the race so maybe they can rotate.
"We cannot ignore the quality of City. We can't just think about our offensive situations. We need to move the ball quickly and safely like we did against Augsburg to show we have big aims in this game. We have a good chance to make them more problems than they can imagine in this moment.
"I will find the right words to ensure we go into it with the right attitude and 100% belief, but you have to know the other team will want to win too. This is only the first try for us, not the last one. We cannot and should not think ‘this is the last chance in my life'. That's really big pressure. We need to stay cool."
Listen to Klopp and be cool whatever happens on Sunday. Lose or win, Liverpool are in the right hands.