Manchester United - Liverpool Preview: Red Devils looking to overturn bad first leg performance

Manchester United face a tough task to overturn a first leg deficit against Liverpool. Can they do it in front of a full house at Old Trafford?

Manchester United - Liverpool Preview: Red Devils looking to overturn bad first leg performance
Picture source: Getty Images

Manchester United host Liverpool in the second leg of their Europa League last 16 tie, looking to turn around a 2-0 scoreline in the first leg from Anfield last week.

The Red Devils will be looking to get back to winning ways after failing to any of their last three games in all competitions. Liverpool, on the other hand, come into the game on a real high after three consecutive wins all competitions.

United faced West Ham United at the weekend in the FA Cup where they stopped the rot of two defeats in a row with a 1-1 draw. Liverpool had the weekend off having been knocked out of the competition earlier, so they will be the fresher of the two teams.

Liverpool dominated the first leg and won the game 2-0 thanks to goals from Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino. The scoreline could have been a lot worse if it weren't for David de Gea who kept the score to something respectable.

Sturridge opened the scoring for Liverpool at Anfield last week | Photo: Getty Images
Sturridge opened the scoring for Liverpool from the penalty spot at Anfield last week | Photo: Getty Images

The Old Trafford crowd will have to play a big part if the Red Devils are going to get back into the tie. Louis van Gaal made it clear after the first leg that the United fans will have to be like the Liverpool fans were at Anfield and create an atmosphere to help the team.

Last Old Trafford meeting between the teams

The teams last met at Old Trafford back in September with the Red Devils coming out on top with a 3-1 scoreline. The goalscorers that day for United were Daley Blind, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial while Christian Benteke scored for Liverpool. A repeat scoreline on Thursday will not be enough for United as they will go out on the away goals rule.

Team News

Manchester United

Luke Shaw (leg), Will Keane (groin), Wayne Rooney (knee) and Phil Jones all remain out for a long while yet.

Louis van Gaal revealed some good news before the game saying that Ashley Young and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are back in training, but won't feature in the squad for the game. Antonio Valencia who returned after a five-month absence for the U21s last week is also not ready for first team action just yet.

Bastian Schweinsteiger made his comeback for United in the last two matches of the substitutes bench, but he is not ready to start just yet according to van Gaal. Jesse Lingard returns to the squad after being suspended for the first leg while Juan Mata also returns after missing the West Ham game at the weekend due to suspension.


Danny Ings and Joe Gomez remain the only long term absentees for the Reds while James Milner is back in the squad after missing the first leg with an injury.

Martin Skrtel who has been out for a while with hamstring injury made his comeback with the under 21s recently but is likely to not be risked for the game by Jurgen Klopp. Apart from that Liverpool have most of their other senior players fit and ready to defend a good lead from the first leg.

Manchester United will host Liverpool at Old Trafford in the Europa League on Thursday, March 17th with kick-off at 8.05 PM BST.