As the two Premier League teams with the toughest tasks in the Champions League undertake their assignments this week, they need not be overcome by trepidation. In Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Arsenal face two clubs who between them have featured in each of the last five finals of Europe's premier competition.
Still, they should feel a sense of freedom alongside their excitement. City may be a more realistic prospect to progress than Arsenal, but after this weekend, both Manuel Pellegrini and Arsène Wenger can feel that their team's whole season is not riding on this week's home leg, or the tie in general.
City and Arsenal's respective progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals was not straightforward - and as has been well-documented, contained a few handy pieces of luck in the case of the latter - but did show that both are better equipped with resource than some have suggested in recent weeks.
In City's case, that may seem an unusual argument, especially given José Mourinho's subjective but though-provoking post-match point on Saturday, drawing attention to the provision of Stevan Jovetic as Pellegrini's "fourth-choice" striker. Yet successive blanks against Chelsea and Norwich in the Premier League (which City are 2.3211/8 to win), as well as the general flow of the games, had suggested that City were lacking something.
Against Chelsea in the Premier League defeat of two weeks ago, it had appeared that shortcoming was in midfield, given the inadequate replacement of Fernandinho with defender Martin Demichelis. Despite conceding only one goal in those two matches, City looked far from secure at the back too, with the midfield balance impacting, but also the nagging feeling that they should have snared an extra centre-back in the January transfer window returning.
Saturday's FA Cup win assuaged those fears, with the return of Javi Garcia - who has met with only mixed success since arriving from Benfica in 2012 - making a big difference in stiffening the side's resolve. In the attacking half of the midfield, Samir Nasri came back into the fold after a month out injured without so much as missing a beat. Jovetic's performance too suggested that all the elements of Pellegrini's squad are ready to contribute.
Remarkably, Arsenal also gave reason to believe that they can cope with a demanding schedule. One of the overworked, Olivier Giroud, was given a much-needed rest in favour of a debut for France Under-20 World Cup winner Yaya Sanogo. The young striker's inclusion was considered the riskiest choice of what was considered pre-match as a fairly parlous selection policy by Wenger, as he sought to balance his priorities.
The FA Cup should be near the front of those, given the difficulty promised by Bayern and the increasing competition at the head of the Premier League. Yet if Bacary Sagna, Santi Cazorla and Kieran Gibbs would all expect to be included in Arsenal's best XI, Nacho Monreal, Carl Jenkinson and Lukas Podolski showed themselves to be doughty replacements as the Gunners dug in - perhaps the best that could have been expected given their recent torpor and Liverpool's rampant form.
The goalscorers also showed that Wenger may be becoming cuter at managing his resources. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned to a wide role to good effect, while Podolski's smartly-taken goal suggested that he might be worth another go in the central role that he made such a good job of towards the end of his spell at Köln, in order to further take the load from Giroud.
Still only one point behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, Arsenal's 11.521/2 to take the title looks generous. They are certainly a good bet for the FA Cup (available to back at 4.3100/30, City, with Wigan at home to come in the quarters, are 1.9420/21).
The really daring might fancy a pop at Wenger's men to reprise the 1998 and 2002 doubles, which is available to back at 33/1 on the Sportsbook. City are the same price to complete a grand slam of all four remaining trophies.