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The presence of Luis Suarez at Old Trafford means there will be even more attention placed on Manchester United’s derby date with Liverpool on Saturday.

Two old adversaries need no help in stoking the fire prior to any given meeting between the pair, but this weekend’s encounter will see events on and off the field fall under the microscope.

Suarez’s return from an eight-match ban for racially abusing Red Devils defender Patrice Evra will see him enter the Theatre of Dreams under the spotlight.

Certain members of the Liverpool support let themselves down during a recent FA Cup clash between the two clubs at Anfield and it is hoped that there will be no repeat of those scenes in this clash, with tension already high on the pitch and in the stands.

It is, however, events on the field that will capture the imagination of the watching world, with there plenty at stake for both sides.

Manchester United sit two points behind league leaders Manchester City heading into the weekend, but could clamber to the summit, for 24 hours at least, if they were to claim the spoils on Saturday lunchtime.

A home record which has seen the Red Devils pick up 29 wins from their last 33 Premier League games at Old Trafford bodes well for the hosts.

They have, however, lost four of their last seven top-flight meetings with Liverpool and came unstuck in the cup clash between the two sides the last time they went head-to-head.

Liverpool will take heart from that run of results, with Kenny Dalglish’s side pushing hard for a top-four finish.

They were, however, held to a tame goalless draw by Tottenham in their last outing and have won only one of their last five in the league.

That return leaves them seventh in the table, four points adrift of the UEFA Champions League places.

Liverpool do have a tendency to raise their game against United, though, with only Chelsea (five times) having tasted success at Old Trafford on more occasions than the Reds (four) during the Premier League era.

In Steven Gerrard, the Merseyside outfit also boast a player who loves facing the Red Devils, with Liverpool’s talismanic skipper having netted four times in his last five meetings with United.

Team news

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Tom Cleverley will be involved in some capacity this weekend.

The midfielder has been sidelined with an ankle injury since October, but he is expected to make the bench on Saturday.

Chris Smalling is also back in contention, but Nani (ankle), Anders Lindegaard (ankle), Nemanja Vidic (knee) and Michael Owen (thigh) miss out.

The game comes too soon for Phil Jones, but Ferguson is hoping to welcome him back into his plans for United’s Europa League tie with Ajax.

Liverpool have no fresh injury or suspension concerns to contend with heading into the game.

Suarez was named on the bench for the goalless draw with Tottenham and Dalglish must decide whether to keep him out of the spotlight or return him to his starting XI.

Spanish full-back Jose Enrique is hoping to return to the Reds fold at Old Trafford and he will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness following a hamstring injury.

Lucas Leiva remains the only long-term absentee in the Anfield camp.

Possible starting XIs

Man Utd: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Scholes, Carrick, Young, Rooney, Hernandez.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Kuyt, Gerrard, Adam, Bellamy, Carroll, Suarez.

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