Manchester City travel to Anfield today in the belief that victory might set in motion a train of events that could take Fernando Torres to Eastlands.
Rafael Benitez declared this week that he would resign if Torres were sold, but there is a belief at City that the loss of prestige created if City barge their way into Liverpool's Champions League spot could dislodge Liverpool's hold on the striker.
The club's current elite striker, Carlos Tevez, may possibly be relegated to the bench today after an unconvincing period at his new club but there is no doubting the symbolic and footballing value Torres would bring.
Manager Mark Hughes did not resist the notion yesterday that it was conceivable that City might bid for Torres at some point. "We don't discuss players at other clubs because that would be wrong to do," he said.
But he was warm in his praise for the Spaniard. "The way he has been able to come into the Premier League and make the impact he has says everything," Hughes said. "I've said time and time again it's more difficult for foreign strikers to have an immediate impact in the Premier League because it's just so new to them.
"For him to come him and have the immediate impact like he has done is of great credit to him and the way he approaches the game."
Liverpool have lost only twice to City at Anfield in the last 36 league meetings and only once in the Premier League but Hughes said he is taking encouragement from his side's displays against Arsenal and Manchester United – their two best of the season.
"We need to make sure that whoever's involved, we get the right intensity to our play and make sure we are creating chances," Hughes said. "With the attacking threat we have, we'll back ourselves in most games to create chances. It's about making sure the right people are there to take them."