After all the sadness of the last couple of days, it will be nice to return to watching some football this evening.
Sure, Charlton ending Huddersfield's record unbeaten run in their clash at the top of League One and Malaga heaping further misery on Villarreal in La Liga both had their moments, but tonight sees two genuine heavyweight clashes as Chelsea host Liverpool and Manchester City travel to Arsenal.
What's that you say? It's in the Carling Cup? Ah. Well, at least that explains why Cardiff City v Blackburn Rovers is also on the list of this evening's fixtures. Early Doors just assumed someone had got Cardiff and Swansea mixed up.
It happens every year, but it is feels surprising to have the quarter-finals of a major cup competition before November is even through. The latter stages of the tournament are crammed into the schedule throughout the winter, with the semis slated for January 9 and 23 and the final at Wembley sees the competition over before the end of February.
Still, one of the advantages of the 51-year-old trophy being crowbarred into a busy schedule is that they have done away with replays. That means we have three shots at extra-time and penalties this evening, and another tomorrow when Manchester United host Crystal Palace in the fourth quarter-final. Chelsea and Blackburn both had to play the additional 30 minutes in the last round before overcoming Everton and Newcastle respectively.
Such conditions may add a frisson to an otherwise maligned competition for the casual viewer and victorious supporter, but it won't exactly make the managers happy.
A little more than 48 hours after Liverpool and Manchester City played out a leg-sapping 1-1 draw at Anfield in the league, both sides are in action again tonight.
Such a fixture pile-up has irked both managers involved in that game. Kenny Dalglish said: "To ask any team or any players to play two games of high intensity in 48 hours is a bit of a joke.
"I don't know why the PFA (Professional Footballers' Association) don't come in and say something about it - it's their players. For me it's difficult to understand why they don't come out and say something. Or do they agree with it?"
City boss Roberto Mancini agreed: "We will change all the team because this is an incredible situation.
"To play in two days, two games like this, after a Champions League game, is incredible. I think the players should say something about this.
"For the players it is important to play, but it is important also to recover, a minimum three days between one game and another.
"I think sometimes we should play with 11 young players, 14-15 years. It is not correct, this, not only for us but all the players."
Still, Mancini does have the advantage of a very deep squad brimming with talent. He will be able to field an entirely different XI to the one which played on Merseyside the day before yesterday, just as he did in the last round. Sadly, that would mean no return to the Emirates for Samir Nasri, an appearance which would have stirred up some atmosphere even at a ground as quiet as Arsenal's.
Across town at Chelsea, the Blues are even fielding their reserve manager. Roberto di Matteo was the man to face the press at Cobham yesterday, giving Andre Villas-Boas the day off to rest his hamstrings after another 90 minutes of his intense calisthenics on the Anfield touchline.
The assembled media at Cobham had to make do with a few lines about the Italian reviewing his position at the end of the season, only for it to be revealed later in the day that John Terry had finally been interviewed by the police last Friday over allegations about you-know-what.
All these sideshows detract from what could be two exciting games featuring young players eager to prove their worth and more senior members hoping to re-establish themselves in the first team.
The Carling Cup has suffered from not being able to offer the same financial rewards as other competitions, meaning big clubs will send out the stiffs even in the latter stages. Not that switching sponsors seemingly every other year and such poor scheduling has helped matters much, but the tournament has largely suffered from circumstances beyond its control. A trophy is only as important as the people competing want to treat it.
Still, it is still an evening of watching football, and watching football is fun. So let's just sit back and enjoy it.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "They're not a very flexible bunch. If you can help flexibility, you prolong their careers. It will cut down the injuries and strengthen areas where they're weak at the moment. It's something different and it will freshen things up." Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis reveals that he plans to get his players doing yoga as a way to cut down on injuries.
FOREIGN VIEW: "People ask me are professional footballers more prone to depression? I think not. It can hit anybody but what I will say is that professional footballers are trained all their life to hide their inner feelings, their real feelings, and that makes it so much more dangerous for them because they are bound to hide their disease better than anyone else." - Given recent events, Robert Reng's comments after accepting the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award for 'A Life Too Short', chronicling Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke's suicide in 2009, have added poignancy.
COMING UP: There's plenty of live action for you to get your teeth into tonight. In the Carling Cup there is Chelsea v Liverpool and Cardiff City v Blackburn Rovers at 19:45 as well as Arsenal v Manchester City at 20:00. There is a full programme of Championship fixtures to follow at 19:45, as well as live coverage of Napoli v Juventus in Serie A (19:45) and Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano in La Liga (20:00).
Before all that, you can check out our round-up of Hot or Not from the weekend's Premier League action and the latest edition of the Euro Club Index.