It's the league leaders wrestling with the league champions at Windsor Park tomorrow and there is a quiet confidence in the Crusaders camp that they can emerge from the lion’s den unmarked.
And one man in particular will be relishing the chance to wound the all-conquering Blues.
This is a very different Crues team to the one that was thrashed 5-0 at Windsor Park last season but the home side are also much changed with Peter Thompson, who netted a hat-trick in that game, no longer torturing defences in the Irish League and Mark Dickson has swapped the blue of Linfield for the red and black of Crusaders.
The former Larne hitman has a spring in his step after being snapped up by Seaview boss Stephen Baxter in the summer and last weekend he scored his first league goal for the Hatchetmen.
His frustration at a lack of first team action at Windsor Park boiled over in the summer when he turned down a new deal with the champions and now the Crues have given him a platform to remind David Jeffrey what he is missing.
Stephen Baxter’s side have sprung out of the starting blocks in the JJB Sports Premiership like Usain Bolt and they are two points clear of closest rivals Coleraine.
Linfield are four points adrift of Baxter’s side but they have two games in hand over the pacesetters. When Jeffrey’s side last tussled with the Shore Road men the Gibson Cup celebrations took centre stage at Seaview this year but Crusaders are now in the mood to dent Linfield’s aspirations of a fourth successive title.
“We have known for some time that we are building a decent side and we are looking to pass the ball well and carve teams open,” said former Blues striker Baxter.
“Mark Dickson does what Mark Dickson does. Against Coleraine he scored with a header and delivered a quality ball into the box for Jordan Owens to win the game.
“It’s a good, early start for us but that’s all it is in what will be a long, hard season. The challenge now is for the players to keep doing well.
“We have tough games every week and it doesn’t really matter who you face next. We have already had a run at Glentoran and earned a point so we will go to Windsor with confidence and hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves.
“We will prepare professionally for it and if our best is good enough we might get something out of it.”
Linfield fans are reminded that Monday's vital game in the Setanta Sports Cup group against Glentoran at Windsor Park is all- ticket. The Blues are currently joint top of the group along with Derry City.