Predicted Liverpool XI v Man United: Three changes as Klopp prefers proven class for European first

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Liverpool and Manchester United meet in European competition for the first time ever in Thursday’s Europa League round-of-16 first leg at Anfield.

The Reds have lost all four of the matches they have played against Louis van Gaal’s United. This would be the perfect occasion on which to end that run.

Here, CaughtOffside predicts the lineup that Jurgen Klopp will go with on Merseyside…

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GK: Simon Mignolet

Has kept clean sheets in his last three Europa League games.

RB: Nathaniel Clyne

Given a deserved rest against Palace, but the England international should be back for this one.

CB: Dejan Lovren

Has played very well in Liverpool’s last two games having returned from a hamstring injury.

CB: Mamadou Sakho

The 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park was the first time in six matches that Klopp had been able to partner Sakho and Lovren together. Kolo Toure had been playing well, but the Frenchman is first choice.

LB: Alberto Moreno

Jon Flanagan is not in Liverpool’s Europa League squad, so Moreno is the only left-back option.

DMC: Emre Can

Lucas Leiva’s continued absence means that Can will be the deepest sitting of the Reds midfielders.

CM: Jordan Henderson

Will have the honour of leading out Liverpool in a brand new chapter for this historic fixture.

CM: James Milner

The Echo reports that Liverpool’s vice-captain has emerged as a doubt with a virus. Klopp will likely give the 30-year-old every chance to prove his fitness before calling upon the services of Joe Allen.

AMR: Roberto Firmino

The Brazilian has been in cracking form since the turn of the year. He has seven goals in his last eight Premier League games, although he is yet to find the net in Europe this campaign.

AML: Philippe Coutinho

Adam Lallana produced arguably the best performance of his Reds career at Manchester City a week ago, but Coutinho is Liverpool’s class act and will be fresh after only a cameo against Palace.

ST: Daniel Sturridge

Christian Benteke’s last-ditch winner on Sunday will not be enough to earn him a start, with Klopp likely to go with the proven threat of Sturridge ahead of the Belgian and Divock Origi.

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More Stories Alberto Moreno Daniel Sturridge Dejan Lovren Emre Can James Milner Jordan Henderson Mamadou Sakho nathaniel clyne Philippe Coutinho Roberto Firmino simon mignolet