Birmingham City chairman David Gold is unnerved but excited at drawing Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup late next month.
Yesterday's sixth-round draw gave Aston Villa (or Manchester City) another home draw against the winners of the only other unsettled fifth-round tie - Bolton Wanderers or West Ham United.
Gold, sorry not to be paired with Blues' Second City neighbours, said: "I'd have loved Villa at home. Charlton or Middlesbrough might have been nice too. And we could certainly have done a bit easier than the European champions. In fact, before the draw, we were saying anyone but Chelsea or Liverpool.
"But, if you're going to get to Wembley, or Cardiff, you're going to have to beat somebody special along the way.
"After three away games, we deserved a home tie. And, with it to be played out on the night, thankfully a home draw gives us half a chance. The big clubs have got to be beaten."
Apart from reminding Blues fans of their various cup scrapes with Liverpool in the last decade, the tie enables Emile Heskey to face his former club. "Big Emile will really be up for it," Gold said. "If we've got all our big play-ers back from injury I bet they're dreading coming to Birmingham."
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, after four unsuccessful meetings with Blues in his time at Anfield, has suggested that Blues' minds might be elsewhere in quarter-finals week.
He said: "Maybe Birmingham will be more concerned about their league position. This might not be as important to them as staying in the division."
Gold, however, says that, with Steve Bruce's team only two games from the final, there is a need to diversify from the grind of the league. Gold said: "People kept saying to me on Sunday they'd be happy to lose to Stoke if only we could stay up. But I don't think that way.
"Winning's a good habit and beating Stoke has been great for morale among the troops.
"I came into work on a high this morning, feeling great, and that's all down to winning. And I felt even better when we got through the game with no more injuries.
"I went into the dressingroom after the game and before I'd even said 'Well done chaps' I found myself going straight over to Niall McDiarmid to ask if there were any injuries? It was wonderful when he said 'No'."
Blues have drawn with Liverpool twice this season and did the double over them last term. However, in their most recent meeting, in the Worthington Cup final in Cardiff five years ago, Liverpool won on penalties, 5-4.
Liverpool needed penalties to beat Blues the last time they were drawn in the Cup at St Andrew's in January 1995. A 0-0 third-round draw was followed by a tense replay at Anfield when Ricky Otto's wonder goal cancelled out a Jamie Redknapp strike to take Barry Fry's men to extra time and a shoot-out. But, in their promotion season, the then Second Division side missed all their spot kicks and lost 2-0.
As for the two sides' most recent FA Cup meeting, again in the third round in 2002, that too proved to be a portentous occasion.
Bruce, the then newlyappointed manager, saw his side lose 3-0 at Anfield. They were so badly beaten that Bruce started a rebuilding process which resulted in Blues' promotion to the Premiership four months later.
Premiership champions Chelsea remain the favourites in this season's competition after being handed a home tie with managerless Newcastle United, probably ending Alan Shearer's chance of winning silverware with his hometown club.
Charlton Athletic face fellow strugglers Middlesbrough.
Villa face a frustratingly long wait before their replay with Manchester City.
The date for their match at Eastlands has yet to be decided but it is at least three weeks away. Next week, an international week, is followed by one of Champions' League fixtures - television bosses are keen to avoid FA Cup ties at the same time.
That would leave the City v Villa replay, and that between West Ham v Bolton, to be played on March 14 or 15, only a week before the quarter-finals.
All four ties are one-off midweek fixtures due to the World Cup finals shortening the season.