Roy Hodgson might not allow it, of course, but Bjorn-Helge Riise and John Arne Riise could be on opposite sides when Fulham play Roma on Thursday night.

The former Liverpool full-back has always got a frosty reception at Craven Cottage after leading Fulham up the garden path before pulling out of the deal, apparently on his mother’s advice, to sign for Liverpool in 2001. Having won the Champions’ League with the Anfield club he was, somewhat surprisingly, deemed surplus to requirements by Rafa Benitez and is now playing for Roma.

Should Hodgson rest a few key players with a tough test at Manchester City looming on Sunday – and it certainly looked as though Clint Dempsey could do with a break on Monday – the Riise brothers could find themselves on the same side of the pitch. Bjorn-Helge, the younger of the two who has mainly had to settle for substitute appearances so far, is looking forward to the battle.

We talk every day on the phone and in the national team we share a room. I’ve never played against him before. He told me he is going to smash me and I am going to smash him.

I am little brother and have always lost against him in everything. I used to run as fast as I could to get home to my mum because I knew then he couldn’t touch me.