Brendan Rodgers is confident Liverpool can narrow the gulf to Manchester United over the coming seasons – and the boss is in no doubt that fixtures between the sides remain one of the biggest in world football.
The Reds currently trail their rivals by 21 points in the Barclays Premier League with United holding their ground in a title race and Liverpool lower down the table in eighth.
However, Rodgers insists the current gap between the sides, in terms of points, will not detract from the spectacle when the two meet on Sunday.
For the Liverpool manager, it remains the most mouth-watering clash in English football.
"It's two of the biggest clubs in the world, not just in Britain," Rodgers told reporters gathered at Melwood. "Two clubs who are renowned worldwide.
"I've always known about Liverpool but in my short period of time here, being away on pre-season and seeing everything that goes on around the football club, I've realised the sheer size of the club.
"It's history that makes a club. Of course we are fighting in the present moment to be better and to improve but the history of this club is incredible.
"Both clubs are institutions in their own right.
"People will knock it at the moment because of the standards that were achieved here in the 1970s and 1980s, but that doesn't stop it being one of the biggest clubs in the world, and a club many players want to play for.
"Of course Manchester United have been very dominant over a number of years, but this is a football club that also had dominance for many years.
"What you are always fighting for, every day, is to get back to that level.
"It's a long, hard journey but it has to start somewhere, and what I've seen in this first period that I've been here is that going forward, we can achieve great things.
"We're all up for the challenge. You're defending more than just a football club in a game like this.
"Liverpool is a city which is very passionate about football. But it's also a football game and we're high in confidence on the pitch at the moment.
"We go into the game in a really good moment having won seven out of our last nine games. We have good confidence and good belief.
"What I'm starting to see now, in the last couple of months, is the courage to play and that is important. To go to one of your rivals and to have that courage and belief to play our own game, is something that we will look to do."
One man who has helped Reds fans to some wonderful moments against United down the years is Steven Gerrard.
The skipper has struck seven goals against United throughout his career and Sunday will be his 30th outing against Alex Ferguson's side.
This season, with a tally of eight, the captain is just one assist away from equalling his career record for a single campaign.
"Steven came back a wee bit later than most players [in pre-season]," said Rodgers. "It took the group who went to the Euros a wee bit of time to get going and you also have to respect the change of manager. It's never easy.
"Over time our relationship has become very, very good and he's understanding the ideas of what we're trying to implement.
"I've got to say, his quality has never been in question. People obviously judge him on his goals, and maybe he has not scored as much as he has in the past, but the role and responsibility he has in this young team now is slightly different.
"What I've had from him is incredible leadership. He's a wonderful man. Everyone judges him by what he does on the field, which is world class, but this is a guy who is world class off the field as well.
"He's a wonderful human being, and it's a real pleasure to work with someone like that. As each day goes on he's growing in his confidence and his play, and it's no surprise [he's got eight assists].
"People won't talk about that - they'll talk about his goals. But his job is to score goals, create goals and lead the team.
"For me, he's been 10 out of 10."
The manager was given his first taste of the fixture from the dug-out in September 2012 when the Reds went down 2-1 to their rivals at Anfield.
Jonjo Shelvey was dismissed for a challenge on Jonny Evans early on in the game before Robin van Persie stroked home a contentious penalty.
"We hope the game on Sunday will be about the football," said Rodgers.
"In the last game we had two decisions that went against us that cost us the game - the sending off, which was unfortunate, and the penalty decision that went against us.
"Our performance level was very good. I've got no concern about the Liverpool players and their mentality in the game, as I'm sure Alex hasn't in terms of his own players. It's an important game for both teams and you expect passion and commitment.
"You need the mentality and calmness to pass the ball and play football. That will be important."
One of the players who could feature on Sunday and a man who the fans will be eager to see running at the United back four is Daniel Sturridge.
The Reds' latest recruit marked his first Liverpool outing in style by writing his name into the history books and firing one of the club's quickest debut goals.
Rodgers said: "He's a good boy, who has come in and really thrown himself into the club and before last week against Mansfield, he hadn't had a lot of game time or training time over the period of a couple of months.
"But you saw him for 55 minutes, and you saw his pace and his power and his threat on the ball. He'll be in the squad for the weekend and going forward he's going to be a terrific player for our future."
With two of the finest strikers in the league ready to do battle at Old Trafford on Sunday, the manager was questioned as to who he believed was the better marksman: Luis Suarez or van Persie.
"What would my response be to that question? I've already got Suarez, so I wouldn't want to swap, that's for sure," insisted Rodgers.
"I can only comment on him. I can't comment on who is better. All strikers bring different things to the game. I think we're blessed to have someone like Luis who has carried the club for the first six months of this season by himself, in terms of being a lone striker.
"He was our only fit and available frontman and he is a player who, every single day, gives everything. Some people have off days but this is a guy who is up for the game. His motivation is at a high level every day in training.
"You can't ask for any more from him. I'm very blessed and privileged to work with such a player."
Asked about the fitness of his squad going into the weekend's fixture, Rodgers replied: "We're more or less okay. Jose Enrique is making really good progress but won't be available for this weekend. Apart from that everyone is available."