Liverpool Vs Manchester United, Saturday, 15 October, 11:45 GMT
The rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool may have fallen behind that of the Manchester derby, but with the Merseyside club finding their financial bearings and strengthening themselves over the summer, it is on its way back to what it once was.
Liverpool have begun the season impressively, despite playing a much-changed side, and manager Kenny Dalglish has got the team to iron out results, even when not playing particularly well. Although they aren't expected to pose a serious jilt for the title this year, they have begun their revival and ought to be a force to reckon with next season.
Following back-to-back victories over Wolves and Everton, importantly, confidence will be high at Anfield, especially with captain Steven Gerrard set to make his return to the starting line-up for the first time since the 3-1 win over United in March, earlier this year. That match aggravated a groin injury and he has since been on the mend. Liverpool have handled his injury with caution, and after making three substitute appearances so far this season, he appears to finally be ready to take up his starting berth. Summer signing Charlie Adam could be dropped to the bench, to make room for the skipper if Dalglish opts against a switch to a five-man midfield.
Coincidentally, Man United skipper Nemanja Vidic will also make his return to the team after recovering from a calf injury, sustained in the opening day victory at West Brom. It will provide a welcome relief to Sir Alex Ferguson who has seen his young defenders, namely Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, look shaky after impressing in the early days of the season. Vidic's experience is a timely boost for under pressure keeper David De Gea too, who has had to face 97 shots so far this season - the most conceded by any other Premiership side.
United won 2-0 against Norwich City, before the international break, but were under threat from the Canaries on more occasions than one. It came after successive draws against FC Basel and Stoke City and some may say the international break came at the right time for United to pull themselves together.
However, Wayne Rooney's mindless red card for England against Montenegro gives United unnecessary pressure to deal with and it puts the 25-year-old under scrutiny. He played against Montenegro amidts doubts of his state of mind as it came after his father's arrest by a police investigation of a football betting scam. The spotlight will be on the player yet again and Ferguson is sure to warn him of the perils of falling to the inevitable taunts and jeers from Anfield.
It is a great match to herald the return of the Premier League, after the internationals, and it should be a cracker!
With Steven Gerrard set to start his first match since March 6, Liverpool have a fully-fit squad as Glen Johnson, Martin Kelly, Daniel Agger and Fabio Aurelio have also recovered from their respective injuries.
Nemanja Vidic will decide for himself whether he is fit enough to return after a calf-strain while Chris Smalling is expected to feature. However, Tom Cleverley and Rafael Da Silva are still out injured.
Liverpool have three consecutive wins at home against Manchester United, as the visitors haven't won at Anfield since December 2007 when Carlos Tevez's goal earned them a 1-0 victory. However, United head the overall record with 71 wins to Liverpool's 61.
Expect a sending off as there have been four red cards in their last four meetings at Anfield. Manchester United receiving three to Liverpool's one.
Liverpool have won three of their previous home games against Man United, but will be well aware of the threats posed by the visitors. Both teams are expected to be rusty, after the international break, and a draw would be welcomed by both managers.
Liverpool 1-1 Manchester United.