As sanitised as football has become, you can always guarantee the Old Firm will remain as impassioned as the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
Animosity between Celtic and Rangers goes so far beyond football that the sport sometimes feels irrelevant. It is Catholic versus Protestant, it is political, it can be sectarian-fuelled and it can be distasteful.
Sunday promises much of the same. Rangers host Celtic at Ibrox in a match which could see their deadly rivals win the championship on their own patch.
The Bhoys have a 21-point lead over the financially stricken Rangers, deducted 10 points after they were put into administration, with eight games remaining.
Rangers claim the SPL title at Parkhead:
Immediately, the scenario evokes memories of what happened at Celtic Park in 1999. The Gers, under manager Dick Advocaat, would go on to claim the domestic treble that season as the Hoops reeled in the aftermath of Wim Jansen departing the club after yielding the 1998 Scottish Premier League title.
That was Celtic's first in 10 years and it prevented their city rivals from claiming an astonishing 10-in-a-row. But Jansen, who played in the 1974 World Cup final for Holland, walked away after just one campaign in Scotland. His replacement, Dr Jozef Venglos, a journeyman manager who had been in charge at Aston Villa in the early 90's, ranks with Christian Gross' arrival at Tottenham the year before as one of the most unusual and unexpected British managerial appointments.
Venglos actually identified a trio of fine players for Celtic - Lubomir Moravcik, Mark Viduka and Johann Mjallby - but he will be forever synonymous with a trophyless campaign which ended in bloody controversy.
Red - not blue or green - was the colour in that 2 May derby. The first foul came after 22 seconds, referee Hugh Dallas was left bleeding after a missile was thrown at him by a Celtic supporter, three were sent off and Celtic fans invaded the pitch in a bid to confront Dallas. One supporter fell from the top tier and was taken to hospital, singing on the stretcher as he was escorted out of the stadium.
Blood pours from Hugh Dallas' wound after he was struck by a coin
Stephane Mahe, sent off in the 32nd minute after Neil McCann had given the Gers the lead, was apoplectic with Dallas as he attempted to confront him, only to be restrained by team-mates. Mahe was tripped by McCann and chased after the Scot but didn't touch him. When he eventually left the pitch, he was crying. McCann received a yellow card for the foul.
Dallas was struck by a coin after he gave Rangers a free-kick by a corner flag. The game was televised in 26 countries - a modest amount by today's standards - who witnessed a lengthy delay as the official was treated by paramedics.
If Dallas' resilience to carry on was being questioned, his response was firm. He awarded Rangers a penalty after Tony Vidmar went down in the area, and chaos ensued again as more fans poured onto the pitch and public order was seriously threatened.
Eventual winners by three-goals-to-nil, the Teddy Bears couldn't help but enact a schadenfreude jig on the Parkhead turf. The players went to their supporters at the end of the game, which compelled some Celtic fans to remain behind long after the final whistle, missiles ready, so they could pelt their unwelcome guests as they scurried down the tunnel.
The Old Firm's current managers square-up last season:
Thirteen years on, Rangers are in administration and it is only a matter of time before the Bhoys regain the Scottish title. That won't dilute the atmosphere at Ibrox however, and last year the duo proved just how vitriolic the fixture stil is.
In an evening cup tie replay, a rap sheet consisting of three red cards, 34 arrests, player scuffles, angry exchanges between opposing coaches and sectarian chanting led to the Scottish government intervening. Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond has however failed to grasp that the Old Firm never has been, and never will be, a tea party between Glasgow diplomats.
Scottish Police Federation chairman Les Grey even suggested Old Firm games no longer be played in Glasgow due to the various recriminations it entails. But with football north of the border struggling to recover from a long-winded decline, a worldwide audience is not going to be deprived of its sole A-list event.