When Liverpool and Manchester United square off, they'll bring England's biggest rivalry to the Europa League. We're used to seeing them battle on a larger stage than this, but that doesn't change the fact that this match and the entire tie are going to be one heck of a heated battle as two bitter rivals go head to head.
The interesting factor to keep an eye on will be just how strong of a lineup both Liverpool and Manchester United roll out. Both are desperate to improve their standing in the Premier League and so won't want to over-fatigue their core group of starters, but neither will be willing to go down easily to their fiercest rival. We could wind up seeing both teams field something very close to a full-strength lineup, and that will only make the match even more exciting as Liverpool and Manchester United battle for dominance.
Key player -- Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Henderson's first season as Liverpool's captain hasn't been completely smooth. He's suffered from injuries and had to deal with a team that's suffered some pretty serious tailspins in form. Some have been critical of his captaincy, feeling that he hasn't done enough to drag the team to success. This tie will be a vital test for his ability to lead Liverpool, with a major rivalry match coming in a continental knockout round. The better he does and the more effectively he leads, the quieter his doubters will be from now on.
Key matchup -- Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) vs. Anthony Martial (Manchester United)
Where exactly Martial starts -- either up top at striker or as a wide forward cutting in from the left -- he's certain to spend a lot of time matched with Lovren in this game. That could prove troublesome to Liverpool, as smaller tricky forwards like Martial are almost anathema to the Croatian defender. Ever since he arrived at Anfield last season, he's struggled with forwards who are willing runners capable of changing directions quickly on him, as he lacks the footspeed and agility to deal with that skillset. If Martial can keep Lovren spinning around, it will give Manchester United a huge leg up in this match.
Liverpool injuries and suspensions
Out: Lucas Leiva, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Jordan Rossiter In doubt: James Milner
Manchester United injuries and suspensions
Out: Jesse Lingard, Wayne Rooney, Phil Jones, Will Keane, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw In doubt: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Antonio Valencia
Match Date/Time: Thursday, 3 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. local
Venue: Anfield Road, Liverpool, England
TV: Fox Sports 2 (U.S.), TSN5, RDS (Canada), BT Sport Europe (U.K.)
Online: Fox Soccer 2 Go, Fox Sports Go (U.S.), BT Sport Live Streaming (U.K.)