Jurgen Klopp lost his only game against United in the league this season with a 1-0 score-line but is adamant that his team can get the better of Van Gaal’s side in the Europa League this mid-week.
Klopp defended his counterpart after the wave of criticism he has faced this season, but said there would be no mercy shown.
“You can be best friends but for 90 minutes you must forget that. It’s the mother of football games, that’s what you want when you are young,’ he added.
Van Gaal has been unfairly maligned by critics, Klopp said, before adding that he felt confident given his past record against him when the Dutchman was Bayern Munich manager and he was at Borussia Dortmund.
“He’s one of the most successful managers in the world,” said Klopp. “We played against him a lot of times when he was at Bayern.
Klopp also explained that his club will try to take advantage of the short comings of their rivals this season but insisted that Van Gaal has done a great job at the Old Trafford franchise and acknowledged that it was not going to be an easy game.
“I’m pleased for him that he’s changed fortunes because after a long career it’s not OK that a few of you gave him the idea he knows nothing about football.
“We want to make their problems bigger, but they have changed enough that we don’t have to be sorry for Man United.”
Klopp also urged the supporters to be at full voice in the first leg at Anfield and said that the fans of the club mean a lot to him and his players and hoped that all of them who turn up on the night have a great time.
“It’s very, very important and it can be very decisive for sure. It’s a big part of football,” he said, talking about fans.
“If it was not a big part, we could play without supporters in the park,” he added.
“They can do the best performance in the stands if they want and I’m open for this, it would be cool.”
The German also gave an update on the injury list for Liverpool.
James Milner has emerged as a fitness doubt for Liverpool’s historic Europa League showdown with Manchester United
The vice-captain sat out of training on Wednesday after being struck down with a virus, and could miss the first leg of the last-16 tie at Anfield.
Though he explained that the England international will be give every chance to prove his fitness, it is expected widely that Joe Allen will be given a start with Lucas also out injured for this game.
He even had some sympathy for counterpart Louis van Gaal after the criticism the Dutchman has faced this season.
“I don’t believe in enemies in football I believe in real opponents,” said Klopp.
“I have absolutely no problem with Louis van Gaal but the last thing I want is for him to win.”
To finish it off, Klopp tagged that Liverpool vs United game as the mother of all games and urged his team to be on their toes and enjoy the night when they face them on Thursday.
“Games like this are the mother of all football games,” he said.
This is the first time both that these two clubs are meeting in a European competition.