With 36 English titles between them, Premier League games don't get much bigger than Manchester United against Liverpool.
The two North West giants continue their intense rivalry at Old Trafford on Sunday in a fixture that always serves to make the heart beat a little faster for supporters of both sides.
The backdrop to this encounter involves a season which has barely got underway but has already had its fair share of drama for the two teams.
United have already fallen four points behind defending champions Chelsea after throwing away winning positions to draw in away games against Fulham and Everton, while Sir Alex Ferguson’s side also had a below-par night against Rangers in the Champions League.
Liverpool have a new manager, Roy Hodgson, who has made a mixed start as the Reds look to recover from last season’s disastrous seventh place finish which eventually led to the departure of Rafael Benitez to Inter.
Admittedly Hodgson’s charges have had a very difficult run of fixtures to open the new campaign, along with European commitments to be balanced, but defeat on Sunday would mean an unsatisfactory return of one win from five league games.
Therefore the pressure is on for the new man at the helm to pick up some sort of result at Old Trafford in a game the significance of which his opposite number knows all too well.
Ferguson – who once famously said his aim at United was to knock Liverpool off their perch at the top of the domestic game – used his pre-match press conference to re-iterate just how big the game is.
"I sound like a parrot but this is 'the fixture'. There is no question about that," he asserted.
"It doesn't change. The form fluctuates quite a bit but we won the last game so hopefully that turns it back towards us again.
"Roy has the experience. He has gathered a wealth of experience in Italy, Switzerland and Finland and the job he did at Fulham was absolutely extraordinary.
"But our approach will not change. We have to express ourselves the way we always do.”
A win in front of their own fans will certainly be the target for United, although they will be wary of their fierce rivals.
Liverpool have tasted victory in three of the last four games in the head-to-head, although the last meeting saw the Red Devils win 2-1 thanks to a winning goal from Ji-Sung Park.
Whatever the result on Sunday there is sure to be incident, with the final result potentially significant in setting up a positive or negative season ahead for either side.
Antonio Valencia begins a long injury absence after picking up a serious ankle injury in midweek.
Many of United's other key players will be feeling fresh after Sir Alex Ferguson made 10 changes for the Champions League draw against Rangers.
Anderson is back in first-team contention after a long absence with a knee injury, although is unlikely to start the match.
Rio Ferdinand is expected to make his first Premier League start of the new season alongside Nemanja Vidic - a player who has struggled against Liverpool in the past - in the centre of United's defence.
Possible Starting XI: Van der Sar; O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Park; Rooney, Berbatov.
Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres will return for Liverpool after being rested, along with Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel, for Thursday's Europa League win against Steaua Bucharest.
England midfielder Joe Cole, who set Liverpool on their way to victory against Steaua with a goal after 30 seconds, will also make his return to Premier League action after completing the three-match suspension he incurred for a red card against Arsenal on the opening day.
Fabio Aurelio (Achilles) and Dirk Kuyt (shoulder) are both still sidelined.
Possible Starting XI: Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky; Poulsen, Meireles; Jovanovic, Gerrard, Cole; Torres.