For Brendan Rodgers' side, however, it isn't even the most important match of the week. The visit of Manchester City this weekend has taken on greater significance following their embarrassing 3-0 defeat by West Bromwich Albion on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season.
With that in mind, Rodgers has left many of his key players behind in Merseyside. Hearts fans hoping to get a glimpse of Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel or Glen Johnson tonight are going to be left disappointed as the quartet will be at home with their feet up watching the game on television. It is a fairly damning indictment of how Scottish football is now viewed that such talent can be left behind in the knowledge that Liverpool will likely still come out on top.
If the absence of those players, and that of the injured Jose Enrique, should give John McGlynn some hope, then he is not exactly turning cartwheels. The Hearts manager has seen enough of English football to appreciate that, at clubs operating at the elite end of the Premier League, the understudies are often just as talented as the superstars they are replacing. Andy Carroll, the man with the £35m transfer tag that hangs around his neck like a millstone, is likely to start in attack, while Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson – all full internationals – could feature at Tynecastle, too. Not a bad line-up for a so-called second string.
Tottenham Hotspur brutally exposed the growing chasm between English and Scottish clubs this time last year. Like Liverpool, they were missing many of their established stars – on that occasion because of a raft of injuries – when they were drawn to face Hearts, but still came to Tynecastle and won the first leg of their Europa League qualifier 5-0.
McGlynn acknowledged the gulf in resources makes it very difficult for Scottish clubs to compete. "Liverpool have just signed Joe Allen for £15m," he said. "When did a Scottish team last spend money like that? When did Hearts last sign a player for money? Virtually every one of their players is an international. There's a massive gulf. The only way we can bridge that is organisation, effort and you're hoping they take their eye off the ball to produce the type of cup-tie scenario that crops up all the time.
"You need to look at a team like Shamrock Rovers who got into the Europa League group stages last season. How did they get to that stage? They took a scalp along the way [Partizan Belgrade]. You're looking to play at your absolute best and get a bit of luck. We must have big hearts, be brave and try to knock Liverpool off their stride. When we get the ball, we must be good in possession, which is what we've been working on. "
If anything, the job facing McGlynn is perhaps even more difficult than that which Paulo Sergio, the former Hearts manager, encountered last season. While Liverpool and Spurs are of a comparable standard, Hearts are undoubtedly weaker than they were 12 months ago having lost Marian Kello, Ian Black, Ryan Stevenson, Rudi Skacel, Stephen Elliott and Adrian Mrowiec from the group that took on Harry Redknapp's side at the start of last season.
McGlynn admitted he had no choice but to pitch in his younger players against Liverpool. "The players could have been starstruck against Spurs last season," he added. "The occasion and atmosphere is great and before you realise it, you're into the game and you're 2-0 down. That's what we have to get across – don't get caught up in the hype. The noise will be great, so when the players are talking to each other they must make sure the information gets through.
"We've got a lot of young players who haven't played in a game of this magnitude before so the concentration levels must be high. We must be really, really focused. We don't have loads of options, so if I take a young boy out, he'd only be replaced with another young boy. They've just got to grow up quickly and learn from the experience. You aren't the finished article at 17 – nobody is – but a chance to play against top-quality players can only benefit them."
With Liverpool coming into the tie on the back of a bad result, and new manager Rodgers still settling in, McGlynn hopes this might be the best time to play them. "They are in this transition period with the manager trying to get them to play probably the way Swansea played [under him last season]. That's not necessarily a weakness, but maybe we can take the opportunity.
"If we were to play them in six weeks and they were further down the line, they might be more ready. We're hoping to catch them at a good time. Our flair players must take them on and we'll pick a team along that lines – we don't just want to sit back and hope it's 0-0. However, if at the end of the game it says 'Liverpool nil' then we'll be alive for the second leg."