'You feel the pressure,' Louis Saha says, fondly reflecting back on his time in the eye of the storm of Manchester United's fierce and fiery clashes with Liverpool. 'You feel the town boiling.'
He is no stranger to the high-octane and relentless demands placed on players during that almighty showdown between two Premier League titans.
Liverpool's resurgence, coupled with United's drop-off after Sir Alex Ferguson's departure, has added extra spice to the fixture these days – not that Saha's own experiences weren't full-blooded grudge matches either.
Louis Saha reflected back on his memories playing for Manchester United against LiverpoolInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Former United ace Saha told Sportsmail that he could 'feel the town boiling' before the derbies
But, speaking to the former Everton and Fulham ace, it is clear he wouldn't trade in his own highlights against the old enemy for a shot at taking them on now.
Having gone into battle alongside the likes of Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes, it is hardly surprising.
'The local boys will make you feel like this is something happening soon,' Saha, who is working with 888sport, tells Sportsmail. 'You have to really understand that the pressure is on. You have to respect it.'
Saha also revealed how the local players at the club would help him to respect the pressure
There were never any problems with that where Saha was concerned. He featured against them five times in a United shirt in the Premier League and, despite not hitting the back of the net, remained the consummate professional.
Both teams will face off again this weekend and, as usual, there are countless little subplots. Liverpool need points to haul themselves back into the Champions League, while United will want to tighten their grip on second spot.
So, while they may not be scrapping at each other's throats for top spot this time around, the tense nature of the build-up remains exactly the same.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'Most of the time you have previous interviews or previous stories that make the game even more tense,' says Saha. 'It's a blockbuster every time, I really like that.'
Saha retired from playing in 2013 but memorably played for United between 2004 and 2008
But with an enviable reel to choose from, what is the memory that stands out the most? 'I remember the time we had a game at Anfield and John O'Shea scored.
'I always remember that moment because we knew we were going to win the Premier League. It was a special moment.'
Labelling it special is perhaps an understatement. That little snapshot of history was, and still is, the dream for small children growing up. A