Liverpool will be desperate for a winning start against Sunderland after Kenny Dalglish's first pre-season since returning to the Reds dug-out.
There is renewed optimism at Anfield with the Reds legend having spent big this summer in a bid to continue their strong finish to last season and re-establish themselves as genuine Premier League title contenders.
Dalglish quickly turned around the club's fortunes after replacing Roy Hodgson in January, ending an 11-year break from management.
The 60-year-old not only rejuvenated the existing players but made some jaw-dropping moves in the transfer market, selling Fernando Torres to Chelsea and bringing in Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, who helped the Reds claim a sixth-place finish after being 13th when Dalglish took charge.
It was hardly surprising that he was offered the job full-time at the end of the season, signing a three-year deal, and the Scot has had a full summer to really stamp his authority on the squad.
He made it clear where he felt he needed to strengthen over the summer and bought British, with midfield trio Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing all arriving at Anfield for a total outlay of around £45million.
With Steven Gerrard set to be out for the start of the season, they all have the chance to establish themselves in the Reds' midfield before their talismanic captain returns, with Henderson's debut coming against his former club.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has reinvested the £16m he received for Henderson and then some, improving an already strong squad with no less than 10 summer signings, including a permanent switch for Ahmed Elmohamady following an impressive loan spell on Wearside last season.
Wes Brown and John O'Shea bring vast experience, Sebastian Larsson and Craig Gardner will boost the Black Cats' midfield and Bruce has brought in Keiren Westwood and 18-year-old striker Connor Wickham after impressing in the Championship.
The Black Cats' form fluctuated last season, rising to sixth before slipping to 15th in mid-April, but three wins from their last five games saw them finish 10th, inside the top half on goal difference but more importantly for all Mackems - a point above arch-rivals Newcastle.
The Wearsiders will probably be happy to claim a point in front of an expectant home crowd at Anfield on the opening day but once the season is up and running they will be hoping to repeat wins over the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City last season, and push for European qualification.
Luis Suarez could play despite only returning to training on Monday. The striker was absent during pre-season after helping Uruguay win the Copa America but Dalglish will consider him for selection.
The Reds boss has completed a deal for Newcastle left-back Jose Enrique but Gerrard (groin) and defender Martin Skrtel are both out, while full-back Glen Johnson (hamstring) faces a late fitness test.
Andy Carroll is set to start up front having scored in each of the Reds' last two friendlies, a 3-3 draw with Valerenga and a 2-0 win over Valencia.
John O'Shea's Sunderland debut will have to wait as the former Man Utd defender has been ruled out with a hamstring strain.
Fellow new boys David Vaughan, Brown, Gardner, Larsson, Wickham and Ji Dong-won will all hope to have forced their way into Bruce's plans.
Goalkeeper Craig Gordon (knee) remains sidelined, with Simon Mignolet looking set to get the nod ahead of Keiren Westwood.
Kieran Richardson (groin) should recover from the problem that forced him off during the Black Cats' final friendly, a 0-0 draw at Hibernian last week, but David Meyler and Fraizer Campbell (both knee) are definitely out.
Possible starting XIs:
Liverpool: Reina, Flanagan, Agger, Carragher, Aurelio, Henderson, Adam, Spearing, Downing, Suarez, Carroll.
Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Brown, Colback, Larsson, Cattermole, Gardner, Richardson, Gyan, Sessegnon.