Liverpool vs Manchester United
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Date: Thursday; March 10; 2016
Kick off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
The fiercest of rivalries is set to take place on the European stage on Thursday night as Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield in the Europa League last 16. The atmosphere in The Kop will await the greatest derby in English football.
Disappointingly for these bitter rivals, their first-ever clash in European competition comes in its second tier, marking a downturn in fortunes as the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea have tightened their grip at the summit of English football in recent seasons.
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This will be the first meeting in European competition between Manchester United and Liverpool and the Merseysiders have only lost four of their 24 matches on home soil this season but there have been too many draws (8).
Louis van Gaal could become the first Man United manager to win five consecutive matches against Liverpool on Thursday, having already seen his side beat the Reds in the Premier League on both occasions this season.
Liverpool’s Premier League record: P28– W12– D8– L8
Manchester United’s Premier League record: P29– W13– D8– L8
Liverpool’s Recent form (All competitions): W-W-L-W-D
Manchester United’s Recent form (All competitions): L-W-W-W-W
Head to Head Stats:
EPL 17-01-2016 Liverpool 0 : 1 Manchester United
EPL 12-09-2015 Manchester United 3 : 1 Liverpool
EPL 22-03-2015 Liverpool 1 : 2 Manchester United
EPL 14-12-2014 Manchester United 3 : 0 Liverpool
05-08-2014 Manchester United 3 : 1 Liverpool
EPL 16-03-2014 Manchester United 0 : 3 Liverpool
Liverpool team news:
- James Milner was sent off in their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace but his suspension doesn’t carry over into European competition. He is suffering with an illness, however, and may miss out.
- Philippe Coutinho was rested at the weekend and is expected to return to the starting XI for this fixture, as is Daniel Sturridge and Nathaniel Clyne.
Manchester United team news:
- Jesse Lingard is suspended for the trip to Anfield, which mean Memphis will start. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are interchangable up front.
- Juan Mata was sent off in their 1-0 defeat to West Brom on Sunday but his suspension does not carry over into Europa League competition. It remains to be seen, however, if Van Gaal will drop him to the bench as a result of his costly red card.
- Marouane Fellaini is also an option after he was an unused substitute in the defeat away to West Brom at the weekend. He has missed their last seven matches through injury but has been effective against Liverpool in the past and would provide an useful means of beating Liverpool’s high press.
- Antonio Valencia should feature on the bench, whereas Bastian Schweinsteiger has returned to training but won’t be considered here.
Liverpool predicted starting line-up: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Can; Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho; Sturridge.
Manchester United predicted starting line-up: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Schneiderlin, Carrick; Mata, Herrera, Martial; Rashford.
Match facts (via Opta):
- Liverpool v Man Utd is the first England v England clash in the UEFA Cup/Europa League since Liverpool v Spurs in April 1973.
- Man Utd have lost just one of their nine meetings with English sides in European competition (W6 D2).
- Liverpool have lost their last four matches against Manchester United – they’ve never lost five in a row in all competitions to their North West rivals.
- Manchester United haven’t won any of their last five away knockout games in European competition, losing four times (D1).
- Liverpool have reached the last 16 of a European competition for the first time since the 2010/11 season when they did so in the Europa League.
- Juan Mata has been involved in eight goals in his last eight games against Liverpool in all competitions (three goals and five assists).
- James Milner has scored a penalty in each of his last two Europa League appearances at Anfield for Liverpool.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United