Liverpool – David Moyes has been quick to express his anger at Manchester United's tough start to the season, but a daunting trip to bitter rivals Liverpool on Sunday offers an opportunity to lay down a marker in the title race.
Moyes was frustrated at having to face Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in the space of his first five matches as United manager.
The Scot has picked up four points from his first two matches in charge, a comprehensive 4-1 win at Swansea and a goalless draw with Chelsea on Monday.
United's fans, who were implored by outgoing manager Sir Alex Ferguson to give Moyes their backing, have certainly got behind the former Everton boss.
But Moyes knows a victory over their old rivals on Merseyside would certainly go a long way to ingratiating himself in Manchester, particularly as he was never able to record a victory at Anfield during his reign at Everton.
“Anfield has always been a difficult place to go. It's a great stadium and I'm looking forward to going back there,” he said.
“In some ways it's no different to any other game as you can only get three points for a win but it'd be a big win if we can do that.
“Liverpool are one of the strong teams this season so if we can do that it can be a good start.
“I don't know if it will be different going there with United as I've not been involved in it yet.
“Everyone tells me it's a big rivalry, Liverpool and United, and it was like that with Everton as well.
“I'm looking forward to the game and part of coming to Manchester United is to be involved in these type of games.”
With Liverpool having secured victories in both of their matches so far, United trail Brendan Rodgers' side by two points going into Sunday's game.
And Moyes has been impressed with the job done by Rodgers during his first 14 months on Merseyside.
“I think Brendan Rodgers is building his team and changing things around to the way he wants it to be,” Moyes said.
“Liverpool have always been a great football club, challenging for trophies.”
Meanwhile, Rodgers has challenged his players to put down a marker which signals they are good enough to compete with the Premier League's top four.
The Reds have made a 100 per cent start to the campaign ahead of the visit of the defending champions and Rodgers is eager for his side to show their qualities.
“We didn't get enough wins against teams above us last season,” Rodgers said.
“It was small percentages, small margins that we can improve. It's going to be a tough game but I believe we are ready for it. It's a challenge we relish.
“There is intense rivalry. There is something that wee bit more intense. It's not just the football clubs, it's the cities.
“We lost last year but we are very confident this time. If you look at our numbers since we played United in January, we have really kicked on.
“We know it is a difficult challenge but we are looking to sustain it.
“You understand what you are representing. This is a game that is one of the biggest in the world. There is a different feel to this match. There is respect between the clubs.”
Liverpool will be without left-back Aly Cissokho, who faces up to six weeks out with an ankle injury picked up in the midweek win over Notts County in the League Cup.
Ivorian centre-back Kolo Toure is struggling with groin injury he sustained in the same match, although Rodgers confirmed his prognosis was better.
“Toure has made an excellent recovery. If he is not ready, he will be fine for after the international break. Cissokho could be four to six weeks,” Rodgers added. – Sapa-AFP