Jamie Carragher on Klopp and Liverpool's Europa League clash with Manchester United

Liverpool's ex no.23 looks ahead to the chances of his former side, with their upcoming contest with bitter rivals Manchester United as well as Klopp's future at Anfield

Jamie Carragher on Klopp and Liverpool's Europa League clash with Manchester United
Jamie Carragher gives his views ahead of the upcoming Liverpool vs Manchester United clash (Image: Joel Lampkin)

With Liverpool set to face their biggest rivals for the first time ever in Europe, Jamie Carragher talked about who has the upper hand in the Europa League last 16 tie.

The legend thinks it is "sad" that the massive fixture is not taking place in the elite setting of the Champions League but still predicts a close encounter between the two English giants. 

On the Manchester United fixture

Carragher featured in 32 matches against Manchester United (image: Liverpool Echo)
Carragher featured in 32 matches against Manchester United (image: Liverpool Echo)

With both teams not experiencing the best years of their history, Carragher believes that the difference now between the two teams there will be "very little." 

One issue he thinks may be a factor within the final result will be Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal as he said that his "one worry" is the Dutchman's "record against Liverpool and in big games."

The Reds have lost all four of the matches played against the Champions League-winning veteran and have already been defeated in the two fixtures this season, in what could be a really bad omen for the Merseyside club.

Carra furthered his point and took a swipe at the United players as he said "his worry" is on "Van Gaal" rather than "the opposing players."

With the 38-year-old featuring in 32 matches between Liverpool's adversaries from just down the M62, the veteran defender was on the losing side 17 times.

With his former side currently experiencing a bad run of form against their rivals, a shot at redemption in Europe may hold the key to removing the jinx.

On both clubs not being in the elite competition

Carragher won a European cup with the reds in 2005 (image: Metro.co.uk)
Carragher won a European cup with the reds in 2005 (image: Metro.co.uk)

It is fair to suggest that with both clubs being the two most successful clubs in England, not being in Europe's top competition [the Champions League] is a massive blow, and something both teams will want to return to in the near future.

United were knocked out of the competition in the group stages this season while Liverpool last appeared at the elite level last season, but were just like their opponents, eliminated in the group stages and then eliminated from the Europa League in the round of 32. 

Carragher said that despite not being in the top tournament it is still the "biggest game in English football." However, he said it was "sad" that is is not a "Champions League game" but it is still a "huge game."

The retired defender is also hoping that the two pick themseleves up from their current slump and return to challenging for titles in the Premier League as he said he hopes that is "deciding titles" and "European cups" in the "next few years" - but the Liverpool fan within him felt compelled to give his team the edge in the upcoming contest as he said if the reds can "take a lead" even if it was "2-1" he would "bite your hand off."

On Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp

Carra believes Klopp is a great manager (image: Squawka.com)

The former defender appeared for his club under many top-class managers including Rafael Benitez, Gérard Houllier and Brendan Rodgers. Current boss Jürgen Klopp was singled out for praise by the Sky Sports analyst for his efforts this season and applauded his former club for managing to attract the German. 

He said he thinks his former side have a "great manager" and said it was a "credit" to the "club" for being able to draw a manager of that "stature." He said from what Klopp has "shown" he has the talent and ability to be able to "do it [win]" over the two legs. 

Asked whether a managerial career is something that would intrigue the Bootle-born Scouser, given how his former partner on Monday Night football Gary Neville has settled at La Liga side Valencia and he said it is something he "thinks about every week." Nontheless, he said he "enjoys" his current jobs of "writing for the Daily Mail" as well as "appearing on Sky Sports" so it would have to be "some job" to "change his lifestyle."