Stoke take on Liverpool in Saturday's evening kick-off in the Premier League at the Britannia Stadium, with both sides looking to kick on off the back of a recent improvement.
The first 12 games of the campaign have been no bed of roses for either side, with the Potters having lost four games straight before they rallied to beat Birmingham 3-2 on Tuesday.
Despite turning their home patch into something of a fortress in their time in the top flight, Stoke have looked vulnerable at the Britannia this term, exemplified by the Blues' two goals in two minutes to level matters, when it seemed the result was in the bag.
Dean Whitehead's late goal to win it however demonstrated the spirit of Tony Pulis' side, but Liverpool will pose far more of a test than they arguably would have earlier in the season.
Pulis has been disheartened by decisions from referees against his side in recent weeks, so he will be keeping his eye on the officials for any contentious issues not going his way.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have picked up their form since their derby defeat to Everton, having now gone unbeaten in their last four league games and finally looking something like the side that frequently sat in the top four of the division.
Wednesday however demonstrated that work was still to be done, when they drew 1-1 with Wigan at the DW Stadium despite seemingly being in control.
Star striker Fernando Torres looks to be getting back to his devastating best, with three brilliantly taken goals in his last two games.
Coming off the back of such a decent spell, manager Roy Hodgson will be confident his side can come away with something from the game, given Stoke's fragile state this season.
But he must be wary that his side have not won at the Britannia in their last two visits, and that this stadium is a place where the wheels have come off for Liverpool before.
At the start of 2009 Liverpool travelled to the Britannia leading the table and with an opportunity to extend their advantage over Manchester United and Chelsea to continue their march towards the title, only to fail in a dour goalless draw.
Then-manager Rafa Benitez's rant against Sir Alex Ferguson's manipulation of referees appeared to be the catalyst for a poor run of form that saw them lose their momentum and miss out on the title to United.
There is arguably as much at stake for Hodgson now as there was for Benitez then, but the 63-year-old knows that a victory would push them towards the top-four place captain Steven Gerrard still feels they can obtain.
It is over 25 years since the Potters beat the Reds, but Pulis' team always have the ability to upset the odds, and Liverpool the constant ability to disappoint.
Stoke skipper Ryan Shawcross is likely to make his return to the heart of defence after serving a one-match ban following his dismissal against Sunderland.
Other than that, Pulis may stick with the same side that beat Birmingham, with Danny Higginbotham the most likely to lose his place in favour of Shawcross.
Tuncay however could make a return to the starting line-up after Pulis admitted the recently recovered Ricardo Fuller may not be able to play two games in a week.
Jermaine Pennant should keep his place to face his former club for the first time since leaving Anfield to join Zaragoza in 2009.
Liverpool could welcome back Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Glen Johnson to the squad and the defenders are in contention to start.
Other absentees Jose Cole and Fabio Aurelio have also made a recovery form their knocks and are a possibility for the bench.
Hodgson used Martin Kelly at right-back in their win over Chelsea and draw with Wigan, but is likely to lose his place should Johnson return from his groin injury.
Kyrgiakos, who has had tonsilitis, has been in good form for the Reds, but it is yet to be seen whether he will make it into the starting line-up over Jamie Carragher or Martin Skrtel.
Midfielder Raul Meireles came off at half-time with illness at the DW Stadium, and will be assessed before a decision whether he will play can be made.
Hodgson has no new injury worries and is likely to stick with a similar midfield and forward line, with Ryan Babel and Daniel Agger still longer-term absentees.
Possible starting XIs:
Stoke: Begovic, Collins, Huth, Shawcross, Faye, Delap, Whitehead, Pennant, Etherington, Jones, Tuncay.
Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky, Lucas, Meireles, Gerrard, Rodriguez, Kuyt, Torres