Anfield veteran thinks Liverpool win will kick start their season
The 48-year-old admits there is pressure on star striker Fernando Torres, but that the Spanish international can deliver.
"Fernando Torres is key. If he can get back to the way that he was last season where he was scoring goals for fun, this game could just kick start their season,” Houghton told talkSPORT.
"There's obviously a lot of pressure on him [Torres] to produce but he's done it before, he's given Vidic a torrid time on a number of occasions and this could be another time."
"This is a massive game for Liverpool. When we look back at the team that played Birmingham, it was very defensive. It's a team that's going to not lose rather than a team that's going to win.
"We'll have to see what sort of team Roy [Hodgson] picks for Sunday, whether he goes in with a similar game plan to frustrate United and hit them on the counter attack.
Houghton believes Manchester United’s inconsistent start to the season will put extra pressure on Sir Alex Ferguson’s team to win at their home ground.
"Man United can't afford to lose this game. They are already under a bit of pressure with the two away draws against Fulham and Everton. That's four points dropped in my opinion, they were leading late on in both those matches and should have seen them through.
"Rio Ferdinand coming back into the team will bring more experience; maybe he'll pull things together. With United at home they must start as favourites."