Kevin Moran: United injury crisis could determine Europa League tie with Liverpool
SO AT last Liverpool and Manchester United meet in European competition.
And both clubs must be wary of that difference tonight, and that these two legs are not the annual Premier League matches.
Away goals are huge in this tie, at Anfield this week and at Old Trafford on St. Patrick's Day.
That must govern the thinking of both teams as they face into what will be two special nights.
For Manchester United, much will depend on how experienced a side they can put out during this injury crisis.
If they must go to Merseyside on Thursday with kids dotted all across the team, I fear for them.
The atmosphere will be electric and if Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp sees a bunch of teenagers in the visiting team dressing room at 7pm on Thursday, he will instruct his crew to go for the jugular.
United manager Louis van Gaal has been lucky in that he has been able to drop these talented youngsters into home games of late.
However, playing at Anfield will be a real test for them and one they will fail to pass without a few experienced hands to guide them.
Any meeting of these teams is huge.
Yet with the sizeable prize of a place in next season's Champions League there for the winners of the Europa League, and it would then be just five games away, these two meetings could be special.
If United can get out of Anfield with a draw, they will carry a massive advantage into the second leg.
I'm just not sure they can manage it.