Having picked up a morale boosting Europa League win with the majority of Brendan Rodgers’ first-team choices left at home, Liverpool face up to the prospect of rivals Manchester United coming to Anfield on Sunday afternoon with a little more confidence than they would have had.
The Reds are still seeking their first Premier League win of the season and would like nothing more than to record it over Sir Alex Ferguson and their bitter rivals. Rodgers is likely to recall most of his big names for the crunch clash – Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Pepe Reina, Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Joe Allen should all return to the starting line-up. However, Jonjo Shelvey could be handed a start after his impressive two goal cameo against Young Boys Bern.
Manchester United travel to Anfield after an unconvincing win over Galatasaray in midweek to begin their Champions League campaign and have been hit by the news that Ashley Young will be ruled out for another two to three weeks with a knee problem. Wayne Rooney also remains absent.
Sir Alex Ferguson is set to make several changes from the team that dispatched Wigan last weekend with an impressive second half display, with Robin Van Persie and Patrice Evra likely to return to the starting line up. The question mark will be who plays in midfield, with Ferguson set to choose two from Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverly. Darren Fletcher, who returned from a chronic bowel condition against Galatasary, is set to be on the bench once again.
The match of course throws Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra together again following last year’s allegations of racism between the two in this fixture but with the emotions of the Hillsborough revelations, the animosity between the two sets of places could be dampened somewhat.