In the 195th competitive meeting between the most successful sides in English football, Liverpool welcome Manchester United for their first European encounter.
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One of the most celebrated rivalries in British, even world football will be taken to a whole new level as Liverpool FC welcome Manchester United FC in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.
• The clubs are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• The sides have met in 166 domestic league games (United 67-55 ahead in terms of wins) and 18 times in domestic cup competitions (United 11-7 ahead in terms of FA Cup and League Cup wins).
• United have won their last four Premier League fixtures against Liverpool since a humiliating 3-0 home defeat in March 2014.
• Liverpool's 16 encounters with domestic rivals in UEFA competition have ended W4 D7 L5 (W4 D3 L1 at home – W0 D4 L4 away). They have never won a UEFA away game against English rivals.
• United's seven matches against English teams in Europe have ended W5 D1 L1 (W3 D0 L0 in Manchester – W2 D0 L1 away). They are unbeaten in the most recent six of those fixtures, including a 1-1 draw with Chelsea in the 2008 UEFA Champions League final, which they won on penalties on neutral territory in Moscow.
• Liverpool are unbeaten in eight European games this season (W3 D5), and have not lost in six UEFA home matches (W3 D3). They have not lost in eight UEFA Europa League home fixtures (W5 D3) since a 3-2 defeat by Udinese Calcio in the 2012/13 group stage.
• United's record in six UEFA Europa League matches to date is W2 D0 L4 (W1 D0 L2 at home – W1 D0 L2 away).
• Liverpool lost to Beşiktaş JK on penalties in last year's round of 32 and to FC Zenit at the same stage of their previous UEFA Europa League appearance, in 2012/13. The 1973, 1976 and 2001 UEFA Cup winners last made it to the round of 16 in 2010/11, eliminating AC Sparta Praha before bowing out to SC Braga.
• United last competed in the UEFA Europa League in 2011/12, getting to the round of 16. The UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League is the only major UEFA trophy the Red Devils have not won – they reached the 1984/85 quarter-finals in their most successful campaign.
Trivia and links
• The journey from Old Trafford to Anfield is around 45km.
• Should United triumph in the UEFA Europa League this term, they would become just the fifth club to have landed all three major UEFA trophies (European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup) after AFC Ajax, FC Bayern München, Juventus and Chelsea. Liverpool can never join this club since they never lifted the Cup Winners' Cup.
• Liverpool's achievements in Europe are superior to United's: they have won five European Cups to United's three, and three UEFA Cups to United's none, and three UEFA Super Cups to United's one. United, however, have captured the Cup Winners' Cup and European/South American Cup – which Liverpool never have, and never will.
• United's domestic successes eclipse Liverpool's: they are 20-18 up in terms of English titles, and 11-7 ahead when it comes to FA Cups – though Liverpool have picked up eight League Cups to United's four.
• United's Ashley Young and Liverpool's James Milner were team-mates at Aston Villa FC from 2008–10.
• Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge and United's Juan Mata were together at Chelsea from 2011–13.
• The game is taking place the day after United midfielder Daley Blind's 26th birthday.
• The last all-English UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League game was Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 1972/73 semi-finals. The Reds prevailed on away goals.
• The return leg will be on St Patrick's Day – significant since these are arguably the two best-supported English clubs among Irish fans.
• Jürgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager last October. His Dortmund team won the Bundesliga in 2010/11, scooped a double the next campaign and lost to FC Bayern München in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final.
• United manager since summer 2014, Louis van Gaal won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League as Ajax coach, as well as domestic titles with FC Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern München, and led the Netherlands to a third-place finish at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.