Holland face Germany in the two nations' second game at Euro 2012 tonight as Europe is treated to what is the outstanding fixture of the group stages.
The Kharkiv match hosts European football's biggest and best international rivalry. Steeped in political and footballing history, over seven competitive matches Oranje and Die Mannschaft clashes have rarely disappointed.
After Holland were defeated by Denmark at the weekend 1-0, one Danish newspaper struck up the immortal line "EGOLAND 0-1 LEGOLAND". The Dutch have never hidden their arrogance, which perhaps ironically stems from failure in their first competitive West German encounter.
Munich's 1974 World Cup final saw Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, Ruud Krol, Johnny Rep et al. arrive intent on teaching their wartime occupants a lesson in football.
Total football had reigned supreme, and it looked set to continue. From kick-off, the Dutch taunted their hosts as they retained possession for over a minute until the moment Cruyff was upended by Uli Hoeneß for a penalty. Neeskens slammed the ball down the middle of Sepp Maier's goal.
Yet the Netherlands' arrogance was their downfall. Their desire to humiliate the West Germans saw complacency creep in, and Bernd Hölzenbein won a penalty in the 25th minute which was converted by Paul Breitner before Gerd Muller spun and scored past Jan Jongbloed for the eventual winner.
Cruyff was booked after the half-time whistle by English referee Jack Taylor as he complained incessantly about the rough treatment he had received from Berti Vogts. Psychologically, Holland had lost the initiative, and the first of three World Cup finals.
The rivalries' money moment came 16 years later though. Two years after Marco van Basten had downed West Germany in the final moments of the sides' Euro 88 semi-final, they met in the knockout rounds again at Italia 90.
Jurgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme's goals - as well as West Germany's win - were overshadowed however by the sight of Frank Rijkaard spitting not once, but twice into Rudi Voller's permed hair.
Initially Rijkaard had scythed down Voller to get booked, spitting at him when running back to little or no acknowledgement from his victim. From the resultant free-kick the German's overzealous challenge on Dutch goalkeeper Hans van Breukelen then led to a scrap between the duo, which saw them both red-carded just 22 minutes in. Rijkaard's parting gesture was to gob at Voller for a second time.
Their last major encounter was a quieter affair. One of the worst German sides in recent memory was denied an opening match Euro 2004 win by the brilliance of Ruud van Nistelrooy, despite Christian Wörns manhandling him, after Torsten Frings had given Germany the lead.
Tonight the stakes are far greater. A loss for Holland may end a campaign in which they were installed as one of the favourites. A win for Germany will give them not only the satisfaction of qualifying, but knocking out their nemesis. They call it schadenfreude in Deutschland.
Holland-Germany head-to-head record:
Germany 1-1 Holland (EURO 2004)
Holland 3-1 Germany (EURO 1992)
West Germany 2-1 Holland (1990 WORLD CUP ROUND-OF-16)
West Germany 1-2 Holland (EURO 1988 SEMI-FINAL)
West Germany 3-2 Holland (EURO 1980)
West Germany 2-2 Holland (WORLD CUP 1978)
West Germany 2-1 Holland (1974 WORLD CUP FINAL)