Liverpool will host their bitter rivals on Merseyside for the first time in European competition in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash.
Louis van Gaal’s side are three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City and the Citizens have played one game less after United lost 1-0 to West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Devils can secure a place in next season’s Champions League if United win the Europa League.
However, Ferdinand believes Van Gaal’s side can still secure a place at Europe’s top table by virtue of their league position.
“At this stage of the season it’s all about momentum,” Ferdinand told The Independent.
“They’ve got a little bit of that at the moment, so why not.
“The guys at United seem like they’re a bit more free. They’re playing with a bit more freedom to perform rather than being very rigid. Before they were playing rigid, slow football.”
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.
United’s record in six Europa League matches to date is W2 D0 L4 (W1 D0 L2 at home – W1 D0 L2 away).
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