Jurgen Klopp believes that there is not much to choose between the quality of the two teams and that both Liverpool and Manchester United have an equal chance of progressing into the quarter-finals of the Europa League. The arch rivals are some way away from securing a top four spot in the league and progression in this tournament looks like their best bet to secure qualification into Europe's biggest club competition next season.
Liverpool have a miserable record against Louis van Gaal's men over the past couple of seasons, losing on four consecutive occasions, including twice this year. Klopp is unperturbed by the recent results and insists that they will give everything in their power to come out on top this time around.
Liverpool come into the game on the back of a controversial win over Crystal Palace while Van Gaal's run of four straight wins in all competitions came to an end against West Bromwich Albion where Juan Mata's red card allowed Tony Pulis' men to secure three crucial points at the Hawthorns. Klopp does not think that the latest setback will trouble United much and the Red Devils will come back stronger in the race for European progression.
"I would say both clubs are in a good moment," Klopp said, as quoted by the Guardian. "OK, they lost their last game after winning four in a row but there had been a lot of pressure on Louis van Gaal and United and they handled it really well. I don't think United winning the last four matches between the clubs means anything, this is over two legs and I don't believe they have that much more quality than us. It's pretty close. I said when the draw was made that I was happy with it, because it is an exciting tie not because I think it is going to be easy.
"We will try to keep focused on the games rather than working out the best way into the Champions League. Both routes are quite difficult. We cannot get close enough in the Premier League if the teams above us keep winning, and in theEuropa League there are further rounds to win even if we get past Manchester United. Now you can see the finish line in this tournament there are only good teams left, it's something like a small version of the Champions League in its own right," the former Borussia Dortmund manager added.