Liverpool v Manchester United: Steven Gerrard says 'rivalry is huge' ahead of showdown at Anfield

The Liverpool captain is relishing the match on Sunday

Liverpool face a stern test of their early season form as they host arch-rivals and champions Manchester United on Sunday.

The Reds have opened the campaign well with back-to-back 1-0 Barclays Premier League wins over Stoke and Aston Villa courtesy of Daniel Sturridge goals.

Sturridge maintained his good run with two more goals in the midweek Capital One Cup win over Notts County, although after being taken to extra time that 4-2 success was less comfortable than initially hoped.

Nevertheless, they take on United in good heart.

Captain Steven Gerrard is relishing the contest, which will be the first of two in the space of a month after the clubs were also paired in the next round of the cup.

Gerrard told the club's website, http://www.liverpoolfc.com: "You've got the two most successful clubs in the country and the rivalry is huge because of how close the clubs are and all the massive games and battles we've had with them over the years.

"If you ask any supporter or player to pick a game they'd like to win, you look for Manchester United."

Liverpool have a number of injury concerns after defenders Kolo Toure and Aly Cissokho and midfielder Joe Allen were forced out of the action at Anfield on Tuesday.

Striker Luis Suarez continues to serve his suspension but, on the positive side, centre-back Martin Skrtel is hopeful of returning after a knee problem.

Gerrard believes the Reds should enter the match full of confidence.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "We know it's going to be a very tough match. I think they'll come here and probably look to play on the counter-attack again, but we're at home and have got to take the game to them.

"Our tails are up. We have won three games in a row, even if with the third one we did it the difficult way. Confidence is still high, even if the injury situation is not ideal going into such a big game. But we have got a squad that can cope."

PA

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