Liverpool have started their journey to Rome ahead of a potentially historic semi-final against Roma on Wednesday.
The Reds blew away their opposition at Anfield in the first leg, racing to a 5-0 lead before two late goals from the visitors left the door ever-so-slightly ajar for what would be an incredible comeback at the Stadio Olimpico.
Jurgen Klopp will hope his men have enough firepower to see off the plucky Italians, but will have to do so without his trusted lieutenant.
Klopp gathered his players on Sunday morning to inform them that Zeljko Buvac, his long-term confidant dubbed ‘The Brain’, would be absent for the rest of the season, owing to a ‘private matter’.
The club will be desperately hoping to make their first Champions League showpiece since 2007, with either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich set to be their opponent.
The Reds gave themselves every chance to do that last week with the emphatic win during a magical night on Merseyside.
Fan trouble, however, marred what was otherwise a perfect night for Klopp and his men.
And Italian police have urged Liverpool fans to ‘respect the rules’ in order to stay safe when they visit Rome this week.
Liverpool fan Sean Cox, who was left in a critical condition after being assaulted outside the stadium, and police are readying themselves for more violence in Italy on Wednesday.
The local Special Branch have been drafted in ahead of the game, with 5,000 Liverpool fans allocated ‘safe zones’ across the city amid fears of further violence.
Officers in Rome will bus visiting fans to the Olympic Stadium under supervision from a meeting point in the Villa Borghese Park, while certain areas have been described as too dangerous for travelling supporters.
One such area is the Duca D’Aosta bridge over the Tiber, where visiting British fans have been ambushed in the past.
Liverpool fans have been warned not to ‘walk the bridge’, with Giampietro Lionetti, head of Rome’s Special Branch, noting: ‘These are two sets of fans who don’t back down, so we have work to do.’
Both clubs have also taken extra measures to call for safety, drafting in club legends Robbie Fowler and Francesco Totti to give a message to supporters.
What is certain, however, is that both clubs are bidding for a historic night on the pitch and will be pleading that distractions off it do not overshadow what is set to be a special occasion.