Man United vs Liverpool: Ole’s pre-match thoughts
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is less concerned about Liverpool’s difficult road to Champions League, after Manchester United lost to Leicester city on Tuesday.
Solskjaer picked up a completely changed side against the foxes with Elanga and Amad Diallo making their Premier League debuts. Magic captained the side that also had Tuanzebe and Bailly starting in centre back. Brandon Williams started at right-back.
The Red devils changed the entire midfield with Magic partnering Van De Beek and Mata in a three-man midfield. Greenwood led the attack alongside debutants Amad Diallo and Academy star Elanga.
During the Liverpool pre-match conference, Ole spoke about Harry Maguire, Edinson Cavani and Liverpool approach to the game.
Harry Maguire picked up an injury against Aston Villa and missed the loss to his former side Leicester on Tuesday. However, the manager doesn’t think the skipper can play in the league again this season.
“The good news was it wasn’t broken. There was no fracture, but a ligament injury of course is serious as well. If I’m very positive – that’s maybe stretching it – I’m hopeful that he might be ready for it. I don’t think he’ll play in the league again before [the end of the season]. We’ll do everything we can to get him ready for the final.”
When asked about the possibility of total change of squad against the merseyside, Ole said he may make changes but retain some players that featured against Leicester.
“There will be changes of course but many of the players that played tonight did really well so they’re in contention as well. It’s about managing the squad now and building momentum, building confidence, making sure we get enough points to get second and then going into the final confident.”
Edinson Cavani extended his Manchester United contract till June 2022. The Uruguayan has been on top form of late, scoring 9 goals in 24 games and could equal Diego Dolan’s record of 10 goals.. When asked about his expectations of Cavani, the gaffer said he has already showed what is expected of him.
““Well, I think we’ve seen the last few months what we can expect and what we’ve wanted from him. Next season, he’ll come ready. He’ll be fit when he comes pre-season. This year, he had seven months of no football to catch up and that’s not easy – he’s had a couple of niggles because of that. Just the same: professionality. He comes in every day, he does everything right. The boys will look at him. He gives us a no.9 position. I don’t know how many games we’ll get out of him but, of course, he’s one of the best no.9s in the world at the moment.”
Ole filled an unfamiliar side at home against the foxes meanwhile the visitors came fully prepared with their key players making the match day squad. This affected Liverpool’s chances of qualifying for Champions League as the red devils were defeated 2-1. This triggered talks of ‘intentional betrayal’ from Liverpool fans. However, Ole says, how Liverpool fans feel is not his concern but Man United only.
“My job’s for Man United. My concern is the Man United fans, what they think about my team, what they want from my team and that we come together as one. I’m sure what Man United is.”
The two sides face off today with Manchester United already qualified for Champions League. Liverpool need a must win away at Old Trafford in order to have a real chance of qualifying for Champions League.