Liverpool defender Fabio Aurelio believes it is a 'massive help' that captain Steven Gerrard has returned to fitness ahead of the meeting with Manchester United.
The midfielder is due to make his first start for over seven months as the two rivals meet at Anfield in the Saturday lunchtime fixture.
Gerrard has come on as a substitute in the recent wins over Wolves and Everton following a groin operation that he underwent in April.
The England star was due to return to the Reds squad for their pre-season catalogue, but a setback in his recovery delayed his comeback.
The last time the 31-year-old started a game for Liverpool was on 6th March, when Liverpool beat Manchester United 3-1 at Anfield.
But Sir Alex Ferguson's team are still unbeaten this term and are already six points above their Merseyside opponents.
Aurelio told LFC Weekly: "We are all delighted that Stevie is back. He is the captain and a great player, and it is a massive help to the team to have him playing again.
"Gerrard's availability is an added ingredient into what should be an exciting but difficult game for both teams.
"After winning the derby we will go into it with a lot of confidence.
"It is always exciting (to play Manchester United). It's a pity that it comes just after an international break because it means you don't have as much time to prepare because players are away with their countries but that is the same for both clubs.
"It seems like they have a new team with new players coming in during the summer.
"Like us, they all seem to have settled in well. They are in good form so it will be difficult but we are confident."