Thursday 10th March. 8:05PM. BT Sport Europe
Well, well, well. Thursday’s Europa League action pits England’s two biggest clubs against each other for a place in the quarter-final, and it should be an incredible 180 minutes of drama starting with this first leg at Anfield.
With both clubs struggling to claim a top four spot in the Premier League, this competition could offer an unconventional route to next season’s Champions League. Throw in an arch rivalry between two North West giants, and there’s plenty of reason to get excited.
Let’s hope we can win some money too.
Can Klopp Work His Magic In Europe?
There’s still plenty of work to be done at the Kop for Jurgen Klopp, but the charismatic German has made a positive impression during his short spell in England. And he could take another hugely positive step by leading the Reds to victory over their arch rivals here.
Liverpool were just a penalty shootout away from lifting their first silverware of the Klopp era against Manchester City, but beating Manchester United would go a long way to healing those wounds. Back to back wins over City and Crystal Palace in the intervening period has rebuilt their confidence while the quality of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino should give them a huge source of inspiration.
The home side’s form in this competition is another huge reason for optimism. Liverpool are unbeaten in eight European matches, keeping clean sheets in each of the past three. If they can continue that here, the Reds have every chance of putting themselves in the driving seat of this contest.
There’s nothing like the atmosphere of a big European night at Anfield, and it doesn’t get much grander than this. Expect fireworks.
Van Gaal Looking To Extend Derby Dominance
Things were finally starting to look better for Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils, but Sunday’s disappointment at West Brom has suddenly made this trip to Liverpool all the more important.
The visitors had won four games on the spin prior to that weekend loss, unearthing a new hero in Marcus Rashford in the process. The 18-year-old burst onto the scene with two goals in the last round against Midtjylland, and would love nothing more than further success against the club’s fiercest rivals.
Manchester United have already beaten Liverpool at Anfield once this year too. In fact, Van Gaal still boasts a 100% record against the Reds since taking over at Old Trafford. If the likes of Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial are on form, that derby dominance could well continue.
Whatever happens, it should be a thrilling encounter at Anfield. We’ll be watching with eager eyes, and hoping to land some winning bets too.
Liverpool v Manchester United Betting
Predicting the outcome over two legs certainly isn’t easy, but Bet365 think Liverpool are clear favourites for this clash at Anfield and are priced Evens to win this battle. Meanwhile, Manchester United are available at 14/5 and the draw can be backed at 23/10.
The Van Gaal era hasn’t exactly been plain sailing for the Old Trafford club, but it’s hard to overlook his form against Liverpool. The Dutchman has registered four wins over the club’s arch rivals in the league, and he’d love to bring that record to the European stage.
With this battle taking over two legs, the visitors don’t need to chase a win. However, they will be desperate to avoid defeat. We’re backing them to do that, hopefully with a first leg victory. Covering United on the 0.0 Asian handicap seems a pretty safe wager
Whatever happens, it should be a thrilling night at Anfield. The stage is set for someone to emerge as the hero, and we’re backing Martial to be that man.
The Frenchman announced himself to the world in emphatic style in the season’s league clash at Old Trafford. With Wayne Rooney absent once more, there’s huge pressure on the 20-year-old. We have high hopes that he’ll answer the call in style.