Liverpool vs Manchester United Preview
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on March 9, 2016
For the first time ever, England’s two most successful clubs have been drawn together in a European fixture. Both clubs would of much preferred this game being the first time they have met in Europe as a Champions League game, but, this is still going to be the first instalment of two very special games of football.
Anfield is the destination for the first leg, both sides will be looking to lay down a marker for the return fixture at Old Trafford on the 17th of March. Each team is on a decent run, with both winning four of their last six games in all competitions. Many managers seem to field weakened teams in the Europa League, but the stakes are too high on Thursday night, so expect fully strengthened teams. It’s unlikely that either team will finish in the top four this season, Manchester United are sixth in the Premier League, three points behind rivals Manchester City who are currently fourth, but City have a game in hand. Liverpool are seventh, three points off Man United, also with a game in hand, so the Europa seems the likeliest way for either club to achieve their season ambition of qualifying for the Champions League. The last time neither Liverpool or Man United were in the Champions League was 1981.
United boss Louis Van Gaal holds an impressive record over Liverpool, winning all four of his games against the Reds. Jürgen Klopp has called this the “mother of all games” in his press conference and has asked Liverpool fans to live up to expectations of Anfield hosting some of the finest nights in European history.
Team Selection: There was a stage of the season when it would have been easier for Liverpool and Man United to name the players that were fit, rather than the players that were unavailable. Manchester United still have Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luke Shaw ruled out of action. Liverpool have no new injury concerns from the weekend’s win over Crystal Palace. Both sides will be missing their top scorers in European football for Thursday’s game, with Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney and Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva both still out. Yes, Lucas is the leading scorer for Liverpool in European competitions… I’ll give you a minute to process that fun fact.