Manchester: Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley will return to action for the first time since October when the Premier League champions host bitter rivals Liverpool this weekend, manager Alex Ferguson said on Friday.

The 22-year-old, who made an explosive start to the season with his energy and ball distribution, has been sidelined with a foot injury since the 1-0 win at Everton on Oct. 29. He had been due to play in a reserve team game on Monday.

"Tom's training well. We were disappointed the Chelsea Reserves game was called off on Monday. But he'll be involved tomorrow," Ferguson said.

United will jump above Manchester City at the top of the table if they win at Old Trafford in Saturday's early game (1245 GMT), at least until their neighbours travel to Aston Villa on Sunday.

City are two points clear with 57 points from 24 games, with United on 55 and third-placed Tottenham Hotspur on 50.

Saturday's match in Manchester is not just a battle for three points between English soccer's two most successful teams with the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra racism row has adding extra bite to the encounter.

When the two teams met two weeks ago for an FA Cup meeting that Liverpool won, Suarez was still serving an eight-match ban he was given for racially abusing United defender Evra in their Premier League game at Anfield in October.

This time, both players are available and will be under the media spotlight during the traditional pre-match handshakes.

Ferguson, however, was not giving the matter any thought. "We've just got on with our job, we've kept our dignity throughout, we're just concentrating on the game," he said.

"I've not even thought about it to be honest with you, I'm not bothered with it. We're concentrating on the game itself in terms of the training."