Thursday, 17 March 2016

Manchester United v Liverpool - Preview

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal feels his side "must deliver" in their Europa League last-16 second leg tie against Liverpool on Thursday.

A desperately poor performance from the Red Devils saw them lose 2-0 in the first leg at Anfield last week.

United have failed to win in their last three matches in all competitions.

"It starts with the players, of course, but it starts also with the fans. They have a lot of impact on the pitch," said Dutchman Van Gaal.

The meeting against rivals Liverpool comes a week before the 32nd anniversary of one of their greatest comebacks.

Trailing 2-0 to Barcelona in the European Cup Winners' Cup, United won 3-0 at Old Trafford to reach the semi-finals.

They were also 2-1 down to Danish side FC Midtjylland after the first leg in the previous round, before winning 5-1 in the second.

"We have to believe in it," said Van Gaal when asked if they can rescue the tie. "I have spoken only with the players about the victory.

"We always owe to the fans a big result because the fans are paying to see that. We have to deliver."

'We can finish the job'

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal pointed to the atmosphere at Anfield being the difference for Liverpool

Liverpool last won the competition in 2001 - in its guise as the Uefa Cup - and it remains their only opportunity to win a trophy this season.

Their energetic performance in the first leg allowed them to open up an advantage which boss Jurgen Klopp feels they can keep hold of.

"We know about the job we have to do," said the German. "We will try to play similar or more intensive.

"I am absolutely optimistic [that my team will put in a good performance]. We know that we know how to play them.

"It was a good night for us last week. But at the same time it's only halfway. We'll go into the game confident we can finish the job."

Winger Ashley Young and full-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson will not be risked by Manchester United and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is not ready to start.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner returns after missing the first leg through illness but the visitors are still likely to be without defender Martin Skrtel, who has been out with a hamstring injury.

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