John Aldridge gives his verdict on Liverpool v Man Utd
Liverpool goalscoring great John Aldridge believes a clean sheet for the Reds in the first leg of the Europa League clash against Manchester United at Anfield on Thursday could pave the way to a quarter-final place.
Aldo believes a 0-0 draw would not be a poor result for Liverpool in the first leg, as he fancies Jurgen Klopp's men to make their mark in the second leg if they are within touching distance of United.
"The key for me in this game is for Liverpool not to concede a goal on home soil and even if we are heading to Old Trafford after a 0-0 draw in the first leg, I will fancy our chances of getting through," he tells us.
"Away goals are so vital in European matches and I look at the United side right now and they have injuries all over the place. That has to give Liverpool a chance to beat them this time.
"You will merely get a quarter-final place in the Europa League for winning this tie, but the mood among Liverpool fans is that this is a tie that can give an ordinary season for the club a memorable moment to cherish.
"European football under the lights at Anfield is always special, so what will it be like when Man Utd show up for battle? The hairs on the back of my neck are already beginning to stand up."
While Aldo is not convinced that either side can go all the way to the final and win this season's Europa League, he insists that will not detract from the spectacle of two huge games between the most successful clubs in English football.
"We would obviously prefer this game to be in the Champions League, but the truth is neither side are good enough to be in that competition at the moment," says Aldridge.
"Winning the Europa League is probably the best chance either side has to get into next season's Champions League, but that is unlikely to happen because the quality is not there on either side to go all the way and lift the trophy.
"There are some strong teams in the Europa League this season, but all that matters right now is Liverpool v Man Utd. The fans won't care about the rest of the competition if they get the win in this one.
"United have beaten Liverpool in their last four meetings, but I don’t believe they are too far ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s side ahead of the first leg of this last-16 tie at Anfield."
Read John Aldridge's verdict on the first leg of Liverpool v Man Utd in this weekend's Sunday World newspaper.