Sir Alex Ferguson expects a highly-charged atmosphere at Anfield on Sunday but hopes the emotion of the occasion will not get the better of his players.
United travel to Merseyside 11 days after an independent panel cleared Liverpool fans of any wrongdoing in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which claimed 96 lives.
Sir Alex has since stated his club’s unequivocal support for Liverpool and, recognising the significance of the game, he wants his men to focus on their own performance.
The Reds boss recalled the Manchester derby of February 2008 when, after a poignant Old Trafford tribute to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster, United’s players could not get going and slipped to a 2-1 defeat.
When asked if the build-up to the game could affect the players, he admitted: "It’s a possibility, I don’t deny that. Human nature can be that way.
"For instance, when we played Manchester City for the 50th anniversary of Munich, the place was so flat in the dressing room before the game. I even felt it myself.
"We just couldn't perform and we were just glad to get it out the way because it was such an emotional day for us. It could be that way on Sunday.
"But I don’t think we should get into that now. I think we should let the players get on with it. There is enough pressure on them at the moment anyway. Liverpool have