Despite their stuttering form under David Moyes this season, Carrick believes United can still spring a surprise when they meet their fierce rivals.
United's 3-0 win over West Brom on Saturday moved them back up to sixth in the table but they remain nine points behind Manchester City in fourth and 11 behind second-placed Liverpool.
And midfielder Carrick recognises the importance of Sunday's meeting between two historic rivals.
"It's Liverpool next and that's a big one," he told the club's official website. "Regardless of where both teams are in the league it's an important fixture.
"In recent times, with this rivalry, we've been on top of them in the league and it's the other way around at the moment.
"But I don't think league places affect the game. We'd say it if we're top of the table that form goes out of the window against Liverpool, it counts for very little, and that's the case now.
"It should be a good game and we're all looking forward to it."
Liverpool, who won the reverse fixture 1-0 in September, have not finished above United since the 2001-02 season and lost at Old Trafford in this season's League Cup.
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