The Europa League round of 16 is upon us and all eyes will be on the high octane clash between two of England’s greatest clubs – Liverpool and Manchester United, and online sportsbook MyBookie.ag has the Manchester club as slight underdogs going into the tie.
Manchester United travel to Anfield for the first leg of the tie and Louis Van Gaal will be hoping to extend his phenomenal run against the Merseyside giants. The Dutchman has won all of his encounters against Liverpool ever since he took over at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile for Reds, this will be a golden opportunity to mend their wretched record against their bitter rivals. Both sides have had a disappointing Premier League campaign so far and the Europa League seems like their best chance of getting into next season’s Champions League.
Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp will be determined to damage United’s European hopes for next season.
Manchester United have won their last five matches against Liverpool and they will need to continue that if they want to progress onto the next round of the competition.
After a loss against West Brom in their last game, Manchester United will look to bounce back with a statement win and Liverpool will look to continue their good run of form. The Reds have scored 11 goals in their last 3 Premier League games and are finally adapting to Jurgen Klopp’s style of play.
The likes of Rashford and Depay have impressed in their last Europa League outing and Van Gaal will be relying on them to deliver at Anfield and score the crucial away goal.
The same applies for Liverpool, the likes of Lallana and Firmino are in great form right now and the well rested duo of Coutinho and Sturridge are expected to return as well. Liverpool are definitely good enough to beat Manchester United and Klopp will fancy his chances in front of the home fans.
The tie has all the makings of a classic with both sets of fans determined to create a special atmosphere. There have already been around 13000 applications made to Manchester United for away tickets. The away side are also giving away shirts to the travelling fans in order to create a ‘wall of white’ at Anfield.
Apart from Lucas, Danny Ings and Joe Gomez, there are no concerning injuries for the home side. For the first time this season, Klopp is in a position to name his full strength starting eleven.
As for Manchester United, Van Gaal was without 15 of his first team players two weeks ago.
The likes of Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian both returned last week. Adnan Januzaj has been playing with the under-21s as well. Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia are also expected to return against Liverpool according to recent reports.
Young left back Borthwick-Jackson is also expected to return at Anfield.
Predicted Starting Lineups
Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Emre Can, Henderson, Milner; Coutinho, Sturridge, Firmino
Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Jones, Smalling, Rojo; Herrera, Schneiderlin; Depay, Mata, Martial; Rashford
Manchester United have won their last 5 matches against Liverpool in all competitions.
Liverpool have kept at clean sheet in their last 3 Europa League matches. They are also undefeated in their last 8 Europa League matches.
Liverpool are in a good run of form right now and the last time they lost at Anfield was against Manchester United on the 17th of January 2016.
- Roberto Firmino has been in sensational form since the turn of the year and the Brazilian is 51/20 to score anytime.
- Manchester United have won their last 5 meetings with Liverpool, they are 3/1 to win the first leg.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United