Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has warned against taking Liverpool lightly despite their disappointing season.
The Red Devils have won their past three Barclays Premier League games, their most recent being a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Fulham last weekend, and they face their bitter rivals on Sunday.
Liverpool showed signs of a return to form on Monday with a 4-1 win over troubled Portsmouth ahead of tonight’s Europa League second leg against Lille, leaving them a point behind fourth-placed Tottenham.
Fletcher said: “It would be very dangerous to think this is a poor Liverpool side coming to Old Trafford because they are anything but.
“It would be a huge mistake to think that Liverpool are not a threat. They maybe haven’t had the season we expected after last year but they are still a dangerous side. They are still in the main the same team.”
Second-placed Chelsea face Blackburn on the same day with the Blues looking to bounce back from their Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Inter Milan earlier this week.
Level on points with Chelsea are Arsenal after their last-gasp win at Hull on Saturday, which proved to be Phil Brown’s final match in charge.
The Gunners host struggling West Ham, who lie 16th, three points from the drop zone having lost their past three games.
North London rivals Spurs travel to Stoke on the same day still in the driving seat in the race for the final Champions League spot.
Tom Huddlestone signed a new contract this week and has his sights set on silverware.
“If we keep making progress like we have done this season, then who knows what we may achieve over the next five years,” he told www.tottenhamhotspur.com.
“The club’s had a good season so far, and if we get back into Europe I want to be part of that because we’ve missed it this season.”
Manchester City, two points and two places below Spurs but with a couple of games in hand, face Fulham on Sunday.
Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill got a monkey off his back this week – the 2-1 win at Wigan was his first in charge of Villa in the month of May.
He will be confident of an immediate second against a Wolves side just three points above the relegation zone.
Saturday will also mark the first match in charge of Hull for Iain Dowie, who this week took over from the sacked Brown.
Hull have lost their past four games and their clash with Portsmouth could have been termed a six-pointer had the basement boys not been deducted nine points this week for going into administration.
Dowie said: “We’ll be working every hour God sends to make this team successful. It’s very important that we all pull in the same direction.
“We must be single-minded as a team, we must be self-less. It’s not about individuals, it’s about team unity. It’s about the dedication of the team. I’ll be asking for a huge amount of dedication between now and the end of the year.”
Elsewhere, Sunderland take on Birmingham and Everton face Bolton, while relegation rivals Wigan and Burnley square up at the DW Stadium.