Liverpool takes on Man United in key clash

Nathaniel Clyne says Liverpool are due a victory against Manchester United when the fierce Premier League rivals meet in the Europa League on Thursday.

anthony martial - cropped

Anthony Martial takes on Jordan Henderson and Nathaniel Clyne.

Nathaniel Clyne says Liverpool are due a victory against Manchester United when the fierce Premier League rivals meet in the Europa League on Thursday.

The 195th competitive meeting between the two clubs is their first in European competition, and will be the only time two English clubs have faced off in the competition since Liverpool played Tottenham in April 1973. > Liverpool vs Manchester United: Top 5 Cup ties

Jurgen Klopp's side are on an eight-match unbeaten run in Europe and has responded well to its League Cup final disappointment against Manchester City, having recorded back-to-back league wins over Manuel Pellegrini's men and Crystal Palace.

United, by contrast, saw a four-game winning run halted at West Brom on Sunday in another blow to its underwhelming campaign, but Louis van Gaal retains a perfect record in four encounters with Liverpool since taking charge in 2014.

> Watch: LVG and 'Mike' Smalling are at it again

And Clyne is desperate to end that run at Anfield this week as Liverpool looks to secure a first-leg advantage - and avoid the potential perils of an away goal - at Anfield.

"This is why I signed for such a big club, to look forward to nights like this," Clyne told Liverpool's website. "I think we owe them from the Premier League games, which we probably should have got more out of.

"We need to take it to them, especially in the first leg when we're at home, try and get some goals [but also] keep a clean sheet, which is the most important thing. We don't want them to get an away goal."

Tough run-in

United faces a gruelling run of fixtures over the next two weeks, with an FA Cup quarter-final against West Ham on Sunday and a derby trip to Manchester City following the second leg against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

But defender Daley Blind insists the last-16 tie remains massive for his side as it aims to keep its hopes of lifting the trophy in Basel - and of securing a Champions League qualification spot - alive.

> Watch: Everything you want to know about Liverpool vs Man United

"It's a busy schedule coming up again and Liverpool will be a great game to play in, especially as it's now in the Europa League," he told United's matchday programme. "You're either in or out, through to the next round or not, so it's very important for us.

"They will say it's important for them too so we have to show that we want it more."

Injury updates

Clyne, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho are all expected to return to Klopp's line-up after starting Sunday's win at Crystal Palace on the bench, though Christian Benteke - who scored the winning penalty at Selhurst Park - will also be pushing for a recall. Lucas Leiva (thigh) is out.

Injury problems persist for United. They are still without captain Wayne Rooney - who scored the winner at Anfield in the league meeting last month - due to a knee injury, as well as Bastian Schweinsteiger (knee), Ashley Young (groin), Antonio Valencia (ankle), Luke Shaw (leg) and Phil Jones (ankle).

Jesse Lingard is also suspended, but Marouane Fellaini was fit enough for the bench on Sunday after missing six games with a hamstring problem and should be involved.

Key Opta Stats:

- Manchester United has lost just one of its nine meetings with English sides in European competition (W6 D2).
- United hasn't won any of its last five away knockout games in European competition, losing four times (D1).
- Juan Mata has been involved in eight goals in his last eight games against Liverpool in all competitions (three goals and five assists).
- James Milner has scored a penalty in each of his last two Europa League appearances at Anfield for Liverpool.