It is impossible to sum up in a few words the history of rivalry between the two clubs, it is a mindset ingrained into supporters' minds. The Luis Suarez incident last season deepened entrenched rivalries more intensely than ever.
Today Liverpool visit Sunderland, and go there hoping for a victory, but it will not be easy, with Steven Fletcher looking to add to his two goals against Swansea as he makes his home debut.
In many ways, this is just a warm-up for the main event, because eyes are already looking towards Liverpool hosting Manchester United next weekend.
Brendan Rodgers has made quite an impact already at Liverpool. He has connected with the fans, with his authoritative coaching style, his implementation of a patient possession focused approach, shifting deadwood like Charlie Adam, and his philosophy in general.
There have been mistakes in the transfer market too, but much of that has rightly been blamed on the owners and managing director.
Rodgers spoke very impressively on Hillsborough in midweek, and while perhaps it would have been fitting for Kenny Dalglish to preside over such a moment in the club's history, but Rodgers ensured that strong, emotive, and intelligent words were spoken in the aftermath of 'Truth Day'.
All that is missing right now, are the results on the pitch. The start has been mixed, a win over Arsenal would have swung the pendulum into a positive, but facts remain that Liverpool have just one point out of nine going into today.
So he not only needs wins, but he could do with a real 'big moment', a breakthrough perhaps. Defeating Manchester City would have been that, even toppling positional rivals Arsenal would have, with home advantage squandered on each occasion.
It seems as though next weekend is being set up perfectly, coinciding with Liverpool's first home game since the Hillsborough revelations, for an especially emotive weekend.
Beating Manchester United would confirm Rodgers has Liverpool on track. It will confirm all the plaudits which have been heading his way are well-judged, and he is on the right track to putting his methods into place.
On potentially a special day, the manager will be intent on giving all credit to the players, but the day will be as much about his 'coronation' and 'arrival' as Liverpool's boss if he can get the victory.
What he does not want, is to fail to win at the Stadium of Light, and at Anfield next week, and be heading to Carrow Road on September 29 still searching for their first league win six games in. Because the praise can quickly turn into pressure, and we know where that leads if the results are not right.
Fingers crossed for the manager's sake, he gets the big win supporters really crave.
image: © Bernard C