The Champions League knockout draw is always a big day in the fooballing calendar because, in many respects, it marks the beginning of the business end of the season.
We may still have six months or so to go, but the fact of the matter is that every team in that draw earlier will have woke up this morning dreaming of a run to the final next summer.
Equally, the draw can also be a dream-killer, and every single side in the competition will have looked at the 15 other sides they were up against and prayed they weren’t pulled out alongside one in particular – Liverpool.
Unfortunately for Atletico Madrid, that was their fate, and now a tasty tie awaits when the competition resumes in the new year.
Of course, there are no easy games in club football’s premier competition, and the Reds will be wary of the threat posed by the La Liga giants, but there is no reason why they can’t repeat the feat of their last two campaigns and make the final again.
That’s certainly the opinion of Gary Lineker too.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, the Match of the Day host said: “An all-English final in the Champions League once again next year?
“You can certainly see City and Liverpool getting close if the draw keeps them apart because for me, they are the teams to beat in the competition this season.”
Having now seen the draw, there’s no reason why the two sides can’t get through the next round at least, although you would have to argue that City drew the shorter straw by ending up facing off against Atletico’s fierce city rivals, Real Madrid.
If they were to get knocked that would surely make the path to the final two even easier for the Reds, who must be feeling just about invincible right now.