Manchester City fans probably do not need much persuasion to get right behind Real Madrid in next week’s Champions League final.
More than a few Blues will be stocking up on San Miguel and paella as they settle down to watch the action from Kiev.
It won’t be down to sour grapes about the fact that it was Liverpool who ended City ‘s own dreams of reaching the finals, beating them in both legs of their quarter-final tie.
What has really left a sour taste in the mouth of those supporters is the attack on the City team bus ahead of the first leg.
The coach came under a hail of bricks, bottles and pyrotechnics after fans on social media had outlined plans for a “greeting” that would “scare” the City players.
It wasn’t helped that Merseyside Police advertised the fact that the City team bus would be taking a different route into the stadium than normal – and then refused to allow City to switch it back.
City have refused to use it as an excuse, but after video emerged of the reaction of the bus driver and other staff – and with reports that players gathered in the central aisle of the bus to avoid possible injury – it is hard not to ponder whether the team was affected.
They were 3-0 down inside half an hour, and never truly recovered over the two legs.
Then, in the second leg, after a blistering start had seen them pull back an early goal, City had a legitimate Leroy Sane goal wrongly ruled out – that would have made it 2-0 at half time and left the tie on a knife-edge.
On top of that, the thought of legions of ex-Liverpool players who populate television and radio football coverage these days, babbling on endlessly about Anfield glory nights, and how special the club is, does not bear thinking about.
But there is a far more practical reason for City fans backing Cristiano Ronaldo and Co when they come up against the Scousers in Kiev.
If Real win the final, they will automatically be placed in Pot One for next year’s draw – which means City cannot be drawn in the same group.
As English top dogs, City will be placed in Pot One, along with the champions of other leading European leagues – Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris St Germain and Lokomotiv Moscow, as well as Europa League winners Atletico Madrid, will all be in the same pot.
That means that the Blues will avoid all of those teams – and the winners of the trophy will fill the eighth and final place.
Last season City were in Pot Two but got lucky by drawing Ukraine champions Shakhtar Donetsk – the first time since they first qualified for the competition that they have not been in a group with one of big guns Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus or Barcelona.
If Real beat Liverpool, City face no major dangers in Pot Two – they cannot face Manchester United or Spurs who are also expected to be in that pot.
That would mean they are likely to face one from Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Shakhtar, Benfica, Napoli or Basel.