When Liverpool and Manchester United square off the world takes notice and with the two bitter rivals meeting for the first time in European competition later on today the focus on this Northwest grudge match will be sharpened with a spot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League at stake.
“Obviously it’s a huge week, we’re playing Manchester United. I think the results we’ve had in the past couple of years against them gives us another incentive for a bit of revenge,” explained Liverpool attacker Adam Lallana, speaking ahead of the clash. “I’ve never tasted a win since I’ve been at Liverpool against United. On top of that as well, being in the knockout stages of a tournament we want to win,” continued the 27-year old. “It’s going to be a difficult test, Manchester United have been under pressure this season, but name a team that hasn’t. It’s going to be a big game and hopefully we can come out on top.”
Although they’ll do it all again a week later at Old Trafford, tying down a positive result in the first leg at Anfield will be crucial to either sides chances of securing progression to the next round. Reds Devils boss Louis van Gaal has the chance to write himself into the history books with the chance to be the only United manager to secure five wins on the hop over their age old foes, but Lallana is ready to write a different kind of headline and will looking for help from the Kop to do it.
“Anfield can be rocking at times and deafening in the night games, it brings that different element to it,” enthused the Reds attacker. “I’m just really looking forward to it and they can act as the 12th man for us at times,” he said with a smile. “Hopefully we can start the game well and give them something to cheer about.”