Liverpool and Manchester United are the two biggest clubs in the Premier League.
Ok, sure, that's a pretty big statement straight off the bat, but with an astonishing 39 English league titles between them and disputably the two biggest fanbases in the land, they're deserving of their status in our eyes.
As a result, it's always a massive occasion when the two north-west rivals lock horns in the Premier League, but even more so this weekend given the narrative of the 2020/21 campaign.
Liverpool vs Man Utd
While there's good reason to think that Liverpool are the favourites to retain their status as English champions, it's currently United that lead the way in the standings with a three-point advantage.
It's a situation that means today's clash at Anfield could have massive permutations for the title race, regardless of how early in the season it might seem.
Now, two major protagonists in this battle of whits will, of course, be Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but it's ultimately down to the players to secure what could a historic result either way.
And consequently, here at GIVEMESPORT, we wanted to hone in on the clubs' respective squads and use our trusty method of Tiermaker to see how they compare to one another.
United and Liverpool's most used players have been included, though not the entire squads, with each of them ranked across eight categories ranging from 'time is up' to 'world-class'.
Of course, this is just our opinion and it's not necessarily the right one, so be sure to formulate your own outlook on the two squads by seeing what changes you'd make down below:
Time is up
Look, some of the abuse that has been aimed at Adrian recently has been truly horrid, but we can't get away from the fact that he isn't good enough to be the Premier League champions' back-up goalkeeper.
As for Mata, for all his technical brilliance and general loveliness, he's been visibly on the slide for two or three seasons now and simply doesn't have the agility and pace for big games anymore.
Meanwhile, I think we can all agree that Shaqiri and Origi have run their course at Anfield with game time proving as sparse as their genuinely top-level performances since the 2018/19 campaign.
Needs to improve
Let's get one thing straight, James is a lovely lad and clearly has a fantastic attitude, but his game has been far too one-dimensional and rough around the edges to suggest his United career is safe without marked adjustments.
The same can also be said of McTominay who, for all his flashes of brilliance, pales in comparison to the holding midfielders of other 'top six' holding midfielders with Solskjaer's affection for him papering over the cracks.
Meanwhile, as time goes on, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Minamino are looking more and more like underwhelming signings for Liverpool, though injuries and limited game time are two caveats that must be acknowledged.
One for the future
Greenwood and Jones are undoubtedly top of the tree, but there have still been inconsistencies to their games that means we don't want to get too carried away in the embryonic stage of their careers.
Williams' presence is also pretty obvious and you could even lump Nathaniel Philipps and Rhys Williams into this category, while Tuanzebe, although comparatively older, needs an injury-free run for United to reach his potential.
Middle of the road
Donny van de Beek
Based on quality alone, Van de Beek deserves to inhabit a much higher tier, but we don't want to become transfixed on his Ajax form when both his performances and game time at United have underwhelmed.
Similarly, Keita has left Kopites shrugging their shoulders, flitting between anonymous displays and stunning flashes of skill, but that level of inconsistency isn't good enough for a player who signed in 2018.
Matic, Cavani and Milner, though still capable of top-class moments, are visibly on the decline, while Henderson is still finding his feet as a world-class goalkeeper with just nine outings for United so far.
Finally, Lindelof is only the Red Devils' fourth-best centre-back in our eyes and too often embodies the phrase: Jack of all trades, master of none.
No, I haven't lost the plot and yes, claiming that Maguire and Shaw, while falling just short of world-class, are players who get far more stick than their performances deserve is a hill I'm willing to die on.
As for Wijnaldum, the social media narrative would have you believe that he's an unspectacular and passive cog in the Liverpool machine, whereas the reality is that the Reds will sorely miss him if he leaves.
Look, at the end of the day, United and Liverpool are two of the best teams in the Premier League, so it only makes sense that most of their players would be considered 'great' and many of these picks speak for themselves.
Bailly, Gomez and Matip make for a trio of fantastic centre-backs, while Telles and Wan-Bissaka do fantastic jobs on the defensive flanks, albeit in completely different ways.
Meanwhile, Firmino and Martial are similar in more ways than you'd imagine because although their goal-scoring records aren't necessarily spectacular, their hold-up player makes them invaluable to their squad.
And as much as we were tempted to lump Pogba in the 'overrated' category, he's hauled himself out of the fire with some superb recent performances to rejoin Fred amongst United's finest midfielders.
David de Gea
Say what you like about De Gea, but the fact of the matter is that 2020/21 has marked a return to his world-class best, re-establishing himself as one of the top 10 goalkeepers in the sport.
Henderson was arguably the Premier League's best player last season, Fabinho has been imperious in both midfield and defence recently and Jota has been scoring goals for fun since moving to Merseyside.
Robertson came within a whisker of climbing into the top tier as arguably Liverpool's best player this season on current form, already chipping in with six Premier League goal contributions.
As for Rashford, the United hero deserves a heroic tier all to himself for his work off the pitch, but underestimate his contribution on it at your peril, racking up 14 goals in just 28 appearances in 2020/21.
Virgil van Dijk
The elephant in the room here is that Fernandes - valued at £81 million - is the only player flying the flag for United, but I think we can all agree on that when he's fresh from winning back-to-back Player of the Month awards for the second time.
Elsewhere, Alisson, Van Dijk and Thiago are arguably the best in the world for their positions, while the duo of Mane and Salah speak for themselves as outside contenders for the Ballon d'Or.
Alexander-Arnold came closest to dropping down a tier after some poor performances in 2020/21, but it's going to take more than that to demote a full-back who produced 13 Premier League assists last season.
A season-defining game
So, yes, there are a few players who looked to have run their course at Old Trafford and Anfield or need to improve their Premier League performances, but let this Tiermaker be a positive one.
Besides, it says it all that United and Liverpool are leading the title race so far this season, which should tell you everything you need to know about the quality in each dressing room.
And the beauty of football means that the Anfield clash could well be decided by somebody we placed in our 'time to go' category as much as someone in the 'world-class' level. We'll just have to wait and see.News Now - Sport News