PHILIPP Degen will make his first start in more than two months when Liverpool Reserves take on Manchester United tonight.

The Swiss full back, signed on a free transfer in the summer, has been limited to just two first-team appearances this season due to a string of injuries.

But he is hoping to move a step closer to Rafa Benitez's squad as he starts at right back in the game at Altrincham FC's Moss Lane ground, kick off 7pm.

Also included in the starting line-up are forwards Nabil El Zhar and David Ngog, who have played a combined total of 21 first-team games during the current campaign.

Ngog, who was selected ahead of £20million striker Robbie Keane as one of Liverpool substitutes in last weekend's FA Cup draw against Everton, scored both the goals as the Reds' Reserves won their first game of 2009 2-0 against Middlesbrough.

That victory on January 20 at The Halliwell Jones Stadium snapped a four-game winless streak in the Barclays Premier Reserve League North and lifted the Reds above United into eighth in the table.

United, meanwhile, have named a strong team for the game, including recent signing Zoran Tosic, goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak and Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Possebon.

Serbian winger Tosic has come on as a substitute in both of United's past two games, replacing Ronaldo in Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup win against Tottenham Hotspur and coming on for Dimitar Berbatov in the 5-0 Premier League drubbing of West Brom on Tuesday.

Birchwood-born James Chester, a former player at Winwick Athletic, starts at the heart of defence for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

Liverpool: Peter Gulacsi; Philipp Degen, Martin Kelly, Jay Spearing, Stephen Darby; Nabil El Zhar, Damien Plessis, Daniel Pacheco, Gerardo Bruna; David Ngog, Andras Simon. Subs: Godwin Antwi, Dean Bouzanis, Emmanuel Gomis Mendy, Victor Palsson, Vincent Weijl.

Manchester United: Tomasz Kuszczak; Corry Evans, Ritchie de Laet, James Chester, Matthew James; Lee Martin, Rodrigo Possebon, Daniel Drinkwater, Zoran Tosic; Febien Brandy, Federico Macheda. Subs: Ben Amos, James Derbyshire, Magnus Eikrem, Davide Petrucci, Antonio Bryan.