Liverpool and Manchester United are unarguably the two biggest football clubs in England. My contention is based on the almost 150 years of bitter rivalry with good and heart-wrenching football on both the “hallowed” pitches at Old Trafford and Anfield respectively – not withstanding the recent unsatisfactory footballing fortunes of the Liverpool-based and Manchester-based clubs.
There have been bitter and happy moments of respect, and even kindness and loathing between the two footballing behemoths, in a 150-year conflict, but this is essentially two clubs who detest each other. On Thursday, at Anfield, they meet in Europe for the first time.
England’s biggest rivalry is set to roll on Thursday and I can’t wait.
United face a Round of 16 first-leg trip to Anfield in a bid to reach the quarter-finals of the competition, with the team desperate to bounce back from the disappointing Barclays Premier League defeat at West Brom on Sunday.
Angels vs Devils: 150 years of bitter rivalry
The Ecuadorian and German internationals, Antonio Valencia and Bastian Schweinsteiger respectively, have been training with the rest of the squad but Van Gaal is mulling over his options ahead of a third meeting with the Merseysiders.
Juan Mata who was recalcitrant on the pitch during the match with West Brom had messed up United’s chance in the last Premier League encounter at The Hawthorns. He is free to play as his domestic ban will be served in this weekend’s FA Cup tie against West Ham United following his red card at The Hawthorns. Jesse Lingard is suspended while Adnan Januzaj and Tim Fosu-Mensah are ineligible for the Europa game.
Photo: El Clásico en la Premier: Ex-players for both clubs | Steven George Gerrard (left) & Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira (right), sizing up each other in a recent Liverpool & Man United encounter . England’s El Classico
Thursday’s clash between Liverpool and Manchester United will be the first time the two clubs have met in Europe despite one of the richest rivalries in the history of football.
According to the boss, Louis Van Gaal, ”It is always a big game traditionally and historically, especially because both sides fight for the Champions League position so it’s a big game for both sides.”
I agree . . .
Up Man U!