Liverpool meet Manchester United for the 240th time on Sunday in what Sir Alex Ferguson has predicted will be an "emotional" occasion, as Anfield stages its first match since the truth behind the Hillsborough disaster was exposed.
Since its findings some individuals have forced United supporters under the microscope. Will they respect or reject the tributes? Juventus fans turned their backs on Liverpool's show of solidarity of the Heysel disaster 20 years on, raising their middle fingers in the process.
The circumstances are vastly different though, and both club captains will release 96 red balloons to symbolise the number of victims at the atrocity 23 years ago. In attendance will be figureheads of the victims' quest for justice such as Margaret Aspinall and Trevor Hicks, who lost their teenage children on that fateful day in April 1989. Hicks has painfully recalled the horrific experience.
"In the ambulance, I was sucking the vomit from Vicky's throat. I couldn't get rid of that taste for six months." Such visceral and harrowing memories will subordinate any Luis Suárez-Patrice Evra sideshow.
What is unavoidable though is the enmity which will forever exist between the clubs and the cities. The geography, Manchester's rise in the Industrial Revolution and the two clubs' dominance the past four decades are the ingredients for the biggest rivalry in English football, although the majority hope for solidarity on Sunday when the 96 are remembered.
In 1985, Liverpool’s waiting supporters greeted Ron Atkinson’s United players off the coach by letting off teargas. Anfield may not be as intimidating as it was in the 80s, but cheap point-scoring continues to dominate this fixture, albeit not quite as toxically as the 2006 FA Cup tie.
Songs mocking Hillsborough, the Munich air disaster, George Best and Emlyn Hughes were aired while Liverpool fans in the Anfield Road End tossed cups of faeces and urine on United fans below them. An ambulance carrying Alan Smith, who broke his ankle during the game, was attacked.
Although in recent years Liverpool may not take home the trophies, they take home the points against United. Their visitors have lost four of their last five fixtures at Anfield and each instalment of the horror series has, like the Saw films, gotten progressively worse.
In the past four Merseyside defeats on the red side, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick have started. One can’t tackle, the other doesn’t tackle. Against Galatasaray On Wednesday, the Turks' greatest resistance to bypassing United's porous midfield (the aforementioned duo) was the wind speed.
Lucas Leiva, an industrious ball-winner, was absent for the fourth round FA Cup tie in January as United enjoyed what Arsène Wenger would call "sterile domination". Scholes, ironically, was the best player on the pitch yet was substituted by Ferguson, who effectively handed Liverpool a 2-1 victory with the score 1-1. Lucas is out of Sunday's clash too.
A poignant occasion has lifted Liverpool before. They thrashed Blackburn Rovers 4-0 three years ago when they marked the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. United, in contrast, produced one of their most abject displays under Ferguson when they were beaten by Manchester City, in a week when they commemorated 50 years since the Munich air disaster in 2008.
"The place was so flat in the dressing room before the game. I even felt it myself," Ferguson reminisced at his Friday press conference.
"It was such an emotional day for us. It could be that way on Sunday." Liverpool fans, for once, would agree with him.