Once upon a time, people referred to the Merseyside derby between eternal rivals Everton and Liverpool as the "friendly derby." But despite the heartwarming bonds which culminated following the Hillsborough disaster and were embodied in bipartisan tributes to the 96 deceased last month, this derby is now anything but friendly.
In the past few seasons, there have been red cards, injuries and hateful diatribes thrown about between supporters of still-wealthy Liverpool and financially-stricken Everton. Both sides have struggled in the table and have failed to make any impact in Europe while clubs like Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City surpassed them in terms of wealth (in the case of Everton) and league position.
However, for the residents of Merseyside, this is still the biggest match in the world.
Last season, this weekend's visitors, Liverpool, took all three matches, including a devastating 2-1 win in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Previously, the Blues claimed a 2-0 victory and a thrilling 2-2 away draw in the 2010-11 campaign.
Entering this initial derby at Goodison Park, Everton sit among the Top Four, and despite back-to-back draws against weaker opposition, should be full of confidence. The Reds are fresh off a 1-0 victory over Reading and look to make their surge up the table following a very disappointing start under Brendan Rodgers.
As we prepare for Sunday, let's look back at some of the more entertaining derbies of the past ten years.