Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen says Wednesday's Merseyside derby against Everton has crept up on both clubs amid a heavy schedule, but said his team are prepared for the occasion.
Allen and Co. have been fighting on the domestic and European fronts as their fairy-tale Europa League campaign continued with a quarter-final triumph over Borussia Dortmund, after knocking out fierce rivals Manchester United in the round of 16.
They have matched that form with an improved record on the Premier League front and they will be keen to make Everton their latest victims.
"We know how much this fixture means to the fans," Allen told the Liverpool Echo.
"With the game being rearranged, the derby has sort of snuck up on both clubs.
"That's no bad thing in some ways. Our focus has been on getting results in other games. We've had some exciting fixtures in recent weeks and now Everton is the next one to look forward to."
Neither side have taken the Premier League by storm this season, with Liverpool sitting in eighth place and Everton in 11th, but Allen says form will be irrelevant when kick-off comes.
"No matter where the clubs are in the table, there is always a lot riding on this game," he said.
"This is the fixture that every supporter and player of both clubs looks for the second the fixtures come out.
"It's that type of game. It means so much to the people of the city and to everyone involved.
"Trust me, the lads here know what this means and we want to do everything we possibly can to get a win over our biggest rivals."
Emotion aside, Allen said Everton have plenty to threaten Liverpool with anyway.
"From our point of view, it's important to remember how dangerous they can be and the quality they have," Allen added.
"It's a one-off game. On their day Everton are one of the toughest teams in the Premier League.
"Our approach is one of making sure there is no complacency on our part and that we give everything for the full 90 minutes. It won't be an easy game."