Manchester United and Liverpool will meet for the first time in a European competition when they face each other in the last 16 clash of the Europa League on 10 March. The duo are the most successful English clubs with eight European cups between them and Reds legend John Aldridge has labeled the match a "huge" clash.
It is a deep-rooted rivalry between the two clubs and the match will be highly anticipated by both sets of supporters and neutrals alike. The Merseyside club and the Red Devils are facing the prospect of missing out on a place in the top four of the Premier League this season, and the Europa League represents their best chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
The Reds legend has labeled the clash between the English giants one of the biggest clashes in the history of the second tier European competition, while also expressing his lifelong dream of facing their arch rivals in Europe. United have the advantage over Liverpool in their recent clashes with the 20-time English champions having won their last four encounters in the Premier League, but the Anfield outfit are coming into form under Jurgen Klopp and with the Red Devils facing an injury crisis, it could be to the Reds' benefit.
The former striker expects the German manager to recall first-team stars Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Nathaniel Clyne to the starting lineup for the clash after the trio were given a break as they were all named on the bench for their win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on 6 March with only the former coming on for the final half hour of the game. Their return to the starting XI will be a big boost to the manager as they look to progress to the last eight of the competition.
"The Manchester United game is huge. I've always wanted to play against them in Europe although I obviously hoped it would be in the Champions League. The eyes of the world will be on the two legs with the massive global fan bases of both clubs. Apart from finals, I think it's almost certainly the biggest game in UEFA/Europa Cup history," Aldridge wrote for the Liverpool Echo.
"When you think of some of the sides United have come to Anfield with - which could terrify the life out of you - it's strange we've lost the last four games against them because this is a very, very ordinary team. They have a go but there are no world-beaters there, Martial is a threat and Lingaard is okay."
"We've got to do what we did against Man City and deliver the same type of performance. I think Jurgen Klopp will be keen to freshen it up and I'd expect Daniel Sturridge to come back in place of Origi and Coutinho replacing either Adam Lallana or Roberto Firmino. Nathaniel Clyne will be back too. With no game in between the ties we should be as fresh as a daisy," the former Reds striker added.
"It's important we get a clean sheet at Anfield, 0-0 is not the end of the world and a 1-0 would be a good result. We're probably more dangerous away from home so we can score at Old Trafford. It's just a massive, massive tie and while the Europa League is a tough cup to win, we seem to be coming into form just at the right time."