After a two-week break for international football, the Premier League returns with a mammoth tie on Saturday lunch-time as Liverpool host Manchester United.
International duty has come at a heavy price for both clubs though with both Marouane Fellaini and Sadio Mane returning to their clubs with injuries.
Romelu Lukaku eased doubts over his fitness by coming off the bench on Tuesday and continuing his scoring streak as the Belgians comfortably saw off Cyprus.
While both teams will want to win, it is critical Jurgen Klopp takes maximum points with Liverpool currently sitting in seventh on just twelve points.
Manchester United are trying to calm their fans as their blistering start to the season sees them joint top with Manchester City and have only conceded two goals in this campaign so far compared to Liverpool’s defensive woes having conceded twelve times already.
This weekend see’s their first test against one of last year’s top five.
While Saturday will not decide the destination of this year’s title it will decide if Liverpool can be regarded as genuine title contenders in the week that Klopp celebrated two years in the role.
Based on the players that are available this weekend from both squads we take a look at how a combined Liverpool and Manchester United side could line up.
Perhaps the easiest choice of all is Ballon d’Or nominee David de Gea in goal. Both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius come nowhere close to the Spanish shot stopper who is considered by many to be the best in the world.
Liverpool’s defence also fails to match that of Manchester United’s with Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones automatic picks over Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovern or Joel Matip.
Jurgen Klopp has started Alberto Moreno as his first choice left-back while new signing Andrew Robertson strangely misses out.
It’s only a matter of time before he breaks into the side and stays there. However Ashley Young’s form since returning to first team action makes him the first choice left back.
Both Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini are ruled out through injury with the form of the Belgian making him a contender had he not picked up an injury.
Ander Herrera gets in due to the unavailability of his teammates at the expense of Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.
Nemanja Matic has been outstanding since his summer move from Chelsea and is a starter. The Serbian will be joined in midfield by want-away Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho who has knuckled down with the job in hand at Liverpool despite the huge disappointment of missing out on a move to Barcelona and also remains a threat on goal.
Perhaps the most difficult selection is who to partner Romelu Lukaku up front. With the Belgian scoring eleven goals in ten games, no Liverpool striker comes close.
Sadio Mane would be an automatic pick had he not been ruled out for six weeks with a hamstring injury.
His place goes to Mohammed Salah who has also been terrific for Liverpool since his move from Roma.
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford once again compete for the same position with the pace and trickery of the Frenchman winning out.
Team in full: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young, Herrera, Matic, Coutinho, Salah, Martial, Lukaku
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena