Surprisingly, Thursday will be the first ever meetup between Man United and Liverpool in a UEFA competition. With a top-four finish in the Premier League and direct qualification to the Champions League nearly out of reach, the two clubs have no choice but to beat on each other to win the Europa League and and secure qualification the long way.
After a slow start against Danish side FC Midtjylland, the Red Devils rebounded and stayed alive after a 5-1 drubbing at Old Trafford, thanks in large part to two goals by 18-year-old Marcus Rashford. The teenage sensation followed up that strong performance in the Europa League with another brace against Arsenal in a 3-2 win, earning him a permanent spot up front until Wayne Rooney returns.
As an embittered and resilient Liverpool team host Man United this week, it will be interesting to see if Rashford’s stellar performance was a fluke or a sign that he’s on the verge of greatness.
Here is the Man United predicted XI vs Liverpool in the Europa League:
GK: David de Gea
Man United fans will undoubtedly be relieved to have De Gea back in the lineup after Sergio Romero proved unhelpful against FC Midtjylland.
DF: Matteo Darmian
Darmian has been slow to return to form but was impressive against Liverpool back in January.
DF: Chris Smalling
Naturally the Man of the Match from the January match with Liverpool will be a starter.
DF: Daley Blind
Fans may be tired of him, but it’s hard to question that the team’s production has justified LvG’s faith in him.
DF: Marcos Rojo
Underwhelming performance for most of the year, but somebody has to fill in with Antonio Valencia listed as doubtful.
MF: Ander Herrera
Steadily returning to form in England.
MF: Morgan Schneiderlin
Between Morgan and Fellaini, Morgan has shown more consistency.
MF: Anthony Martial
The French starlet is finding goals difficult to come by since returning to winger.
MF: Juan Mata
Although he’s facing a match ban in England for his costly red card last week, Louis van Gaal might want to maximize his use of Mata while he still cant.
MF: Memphis Depay
Lingard is suspended so Memphis will start. He has been off and on this season, but for what it’s worth he’s looked much better the past month.
FW: Marcus Rashford
If it’s not broken there’s no point fixing it, and Rashford up front worked to perfection in their last Europa League clash.
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