It is often dubbed the biggest fixture in English football, but some may not place such importance on the League Cup.
They were the first two names out of the hat for the draw for the third round of the League Cup, and Manchester United and Liverpool will lock horns at Old Trafford on Wednesday night at Old Trafford on the back of a difficult weekend for both sides.
For the victor on Wednesday it will be a case of being able to bounce back in a big game against their rivals, for the losers there will be some sections indicating they’re not too bothered at being knocked out of a competition dubbed the ‘Mickey Mouse cup’.
For both managers, it will be viewed as an incredibly important game. Not only are they playing fierce rivals, but both will be targeting trophies this season. No matter how small the significance may be in the eyes of some of lifting the League Cup, no-one enters a competition without the intention of trying to get as far as they can, and even winning it.
Another defeat for Manchester United could bring about a few murmurs of discontent over David Moyes’ reign as manager, and question whether or not he has the capability to manage United in the really big clashes having already lost to Manchester City and Liverpool this season, and failing to break down Chelsea at Old Trafford.
For Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, after the side he put out against Notts County in the second round, you can tell that he is taking any opposition that’s put in front of them seriously – with Luis Suarez likely to return since serving his ten game ban.
How big a game it is for each manager will be determined by their respective team selections. Both sets of fans will be desperate for a victory in midweek to bounce back from Saturday. In the context of the season for both sides, the effects might not be so great but a win for either side could help get their respective league campaigns back on track after a disappointing weekend.
For the victor it will be huge, whilst the loser will try and shrug it off. It may not be so easy for Moyes.
image: © Paolo Camera