Uefa have granted Manchester United special dispensation to stay and train at their own club base ahead of their Europa League clash with Liverpool. According to Uefa regulations, clubs travelling for away games in European competition must stay within 27 miles of the hosts' stadium the day before the match. United take on their arch-rivals at Anfield on Thursday 10 March.
Under normal, albeit slightly bizarre rules, Louis van Gaal's side would have been required to travel to Liverpool a day early, given they are based seven miles outside of that radius. But following an appeal from the club, United were given permission to train at their Carrington training base as usual and remain in Manchester on Wednesday night, before travelling to Liverpool on Thursday.
The Premier League giants will collide for the first ever time in European competition this month for a place in the final eight of the Europa League. United have won their last four meetings against their rivals – all under van Gaal – in the Premier League and the manager believes the rivalry between the two demands just as much attention regardless of what competition they meet in.
"You have to win – there is no difference [with it being a cup competition]. United and Liverpool is always a big game. It's historical and even bigger now because both teams are fighting for a Champions League place," he told a press conference on Wednesday.
"I think football in England is very deep in the life of the people. Of course I have noticed that also in Spain and Germany but that was less deep than here. It's fantastic to see that, that's also one aspect why I wanted to come here, to have that experience. It is also sometimes I can see too much, but I like to see it because you can see the heart of the club and also the feeling that they are with you every game. It's nice for the players and for the manager."