Liverpool can pull off a rare back-to-back beating of both Manchester giants in the space of a few days if they get a win over Manchester United in their 2018 International Champions Cup collision at Michigan Stadium on Saturday.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane had an instant impact on Liverpool's preparations, coming off the bench to make their first pre-season appearances and score both goals in a 2-1 win over Manchester City on Wednesday.
The key Reds duo could be promoted to starter duties against United in Michigan, where Liverpool will bring an end to their 2018 ICC campaign before heading back to England via Dublin for their last pre-season fixtures.
United are unbeaten in pre-season but have looked uninspired, drawing all three of their matches over 90 minutes and edging AC Milan 9-8 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.
The sparks are sure to fly between the bitter rivals in Ann Arbor regardless of the low stakes.
Date: Saturday, July 28
Time: 10:05 p.m. BST/5:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
TV Info: ESPN Deportes (U.S.), MUTV, LFCTV
Liverpool may have required their big guns to beat an understaffed City side last time out, but manager Jurgen Klopp will nonetheless feel encouraged heading into a meeting with Manchester's other major power.
Pre-season or not, the mind games between Klopp and Old Trafford counterpart Jose Mourinho are already under way too, with the Red Devils boss firing a barb at the German after his heavy spending this summer, as Sky Sports PL shared:
Naby Keita and Fabinho, new arrivals from RB Leipzig and AS Monaco, respectively, have had good runs in pre-season, while latest arrival Alisson Becker has yet to get his debut in goal.
Klopp previously revealed that the Brazil international, who arrived for £66.8 million to become the most expensive goalkeeper of all time, was eyeing the August 4 friendly against Napoli for his debut, per the Telegraph's John Percy.
The personnel situation is somewhat more chaotic for United, whose transfer business has been slower. Midfielder Fred and right-back Diogo Dalot are the biggest names to have joined, but fans might have been expecting more after they finished 19 below rivals City in the Premier League last term.
Not only that, but disgruntled forward Anthony Martial has left the club's tour of the United States to attend the birth of his child, per BBC Radio Manchester's Bill Rice:
While that tweet gave the impression the departure was amicable, The Times' Paul Hirst gave a different account (h/t BBC Sport's Shamoon Hafez):
Martial's absence compounds an attacking problem that started with Alexis Sanchez's visa issues, delaying his arrival to the United States. Romelu Lukaku has yet to return post-2018 FIFA World Cup exploits, meaning teenagers Mason Greenwood and Joshua Bohui are now the only natural centre-forwards in the tour squad.
Compare that with the buzz around Liverpool's attack after seeing their heroes return against City, as writer Joel Rabinowitz exemplified:
They may only just be back under Klopp's tutelage, but commentator Ian Darke said Salah and Mane are up to speed:
That's a frightening prospect for a United defence whose only clean sheet of pre-season came against the San Jose Earthquakes, with Club America and AC Milan each managing to clinch a 1-1 draw in normal time.
Liverpool can't win the 2018 ICC but could receive a substantial boost ahead of the new season if they beat United. The same goes for a Red Devils team in need of some rejuvenation.