The Reds have an outside chance of finishing in the top four after Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
It’s not easy, we saw in the last game it was very tight and it’s going to be tighter as Liverpool go through, but it’s a competition that Liverpool can win
Liverpool are six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City in the race to secure a place in next season’s Champions League competition.
The Merseyside have never faced United in Europe despite their long domestic rivalry.
Former Liverpool forward Garcia, who was part of Rafael Benitez’s side that won the Champions League in 2005, explained why Thursday’s game could prove important in the context of the 2015/16 season.
“It’s the Clasico of England, I think,” Garcia told Omnisport. “After a disappointing season in the Premier League, to have that game, win that game and go through would be fantastic for the club, for the supporters and for the players.
“It’s a fantastic game against Manchester United. I think it’s one of the games that the supporters are going to look forward to.
“It’s a fantastic chance to get in the Champions League next year and it’s probably the only one because the fourth position in the league is very far away.
“Winning that competition can give you that so I think the club knows, the players know and they’re going to give everything.
“It’s not easy, we saw in the last game it was very tight and it’s going to be tighter as Liverpool go through, but it’s a competition that Liverpool can win.”
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 Europa League home fixtures (W5 D3) since a 3-2 defeat by Udinese Calcio in the 2012/13 group stage.
Enhanced odds: Get 7/1 on Liverpool to beat Man Utd
United’s record in six Europa League matches to date is W2 D0 L4 (W1 D0 L2 at home – W1 D0 L2 away).
Liverpool lost to Beşiktaş on penalties in last year’s round of 32 and to FC Zenit at the same stage of their previous 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.
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