United receive welcome fitness boost ahead of trip to Anfield

Manchester United head to Anfield on Thursday evening to take on Liverpool for the first time in a European fixture in the team’s illustrious histories. With both sides coming off the back of differing domestic results, United will be hoping that a number of returning first team players can give them a much needed boost going into this crucial clash. After a damaging away defeat to West Bromich Albion on Sunday, in which Juan Mata’s red card contributed to a lethargic performance, United will be eager to return to winning ways and continue an impressive recent record over their arch rivals. Having been seemingly cursed all season through long term injuries with the likes of Luke Shaw, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young all facing spells on the sidelines, Louis Van Gaal will be happy to be able to call upon the returning Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini.

A recent run of four straight victories in both the league and cup, including an excellent display against title chasing Arsenal, had briefly restored belief around Old Trafford. The likes of Marcus Rashford and Guillermo Varela have stepped up to the plate admirably in recent weeks, however Van Gaal will look to his more experienced campaigners as the season reaches a decisive stage. Their most recent damaging defeat has left them heading into their Europa League clash with Liverpool this week, again looking to gain some sort of momentum in what has been a stop-start season. With a busy schedule over the next few weeks for United, including an FA Cup clash with West Ham and a trip to the Etihad to face Manchester City, United will be hoping their returning players can get straight back into the thick of things.

With Liverpool coming into the fixture off the back off a morale boosting victory away at Crystal Palace, this game is perfectly set up, with neither side heading into the tie as firm favourites. For those of you looking for weekly football betting odds and fixtures, Bell Internet Limited offer sports and betting content in various digital platforms. Football betting in such high pressure games can often prove too hard to predict, with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool performing so unpredictably all season long.

The fact that the winner of this year’s Europa League gains automatic qualification into next season’s Champions League, both sides are likely to place a lot of emphasis on a tournament in which English sides usually fail to prioritise. So what is always a heated encounter between the two due to geography, history and pride, now takes on an even greater importance, as English football’s two most successful side’s do battle once again.