Liverpool ace Javier Mascherano admits they need to win their showdown with Manchester United if they are to mount a serious title bid.
The Reds have struggled in recent seasons against their bitter rivals and are putting their championship credentials on the line in the first title showdown of the season.
Argentina international Mascherano knows Rafa Benitez's men need to put down a marker against the reigning champions if they are to show they are more than just title pretenders.
"This is a very important period, we have a lot of important games coming up after the international break - especially the first one against United," said Mascherano.
"More than three points ride on these games as it proved when we lost at home to United last season.
"It's a match we need to win if we want to compete for the title. We can do that and push for honours. The fans deserve it."