Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp risked irking United striker Ronaldo ahead of the crunch clash when he hailed Salah as the best player in the world last weekend.
The Egypt forward has been in superb form, with his sublime strikes against Manchester City and Watford already goal of the season contenders.
But Ronaldo hasn’t been far behind with a series of crucial goals underlining his superstar status.
While Paris Saint-Germain duo Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe can also stake their claim to be the world’s best, in the Premier League there is little doubt that Ronaldo and Salah are the main men.
So who will be this season’s preeminent force?
Sunday’s crucial showdown at Old Trafford will go some way to deciding that question.
Without a win in their last three league games, United are four points behind second-placed Liverpool.
United need Ronaldo to continue his knack of rising to the big occasion, while unbeaten Liverpool hope Salah can continue his blistering streak.
Salah has scored 12 times in 11 games this season, with Ronaldo netting six times in eight matches since returning to United from Juventus in August.
Salah became the first Liverpool player to score in nine consecutive games after striking twice in the Champions League win at Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
Just 24 hours later, Ronaldo stole the European spotlight with the late headed winner that completed United’s fightback from two goals down to beat Atalanta 3-2.