Solskjaer previews Man Utd v Liverpool in Premier League
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has named four players he thinks can have a big role to play ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool. The Red Devils go into the match looking for a first win in the competition since September. But Jurgen Klopp’s side certainly won’t be easy.
Manchester United have been hit and miss under Solskjaer this season, despite backing the Norwegian during the summer transfer window.
But the 48-year-old thinks Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford can all make a difference.
He said: “I’d expect us to improve in the next couple of months, definitely.
“Of course Cristiano has been here for a month, Jadon has been here for two months and Marcus Rashford is just coming back.
“Edinson Cavani had to wait longer in the run up to when he could join us as well.
“It is exciting to have these types of players to work with, but then it is about finding the right balance.”
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In recent years, there’s been a power shift.
Whereas United were dominant under Sr Alex Ferguson, Liverpool have won the Champions League and Premier League titles under Jurgen Klopp.
And Solskjaer feels United have to beat their fierce rivals to boost their chances of winning the Premier League title.
“It’s a massive rivalry because of the history of the two clubs – and the amount of titles and trophies we have won,” he said.
“There is a history between the two cities and the two football clubs. It’s a rivalry you have to embrace. You have to take it up.
“You have to hold your hands up and say they (Liverpool) are a very good club and a very good team.
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“And then you have to make sure you’re better than them.
“For the last four years, Liverpool have been tremendous – and we’re chasing them.
“Over the last four years, the results mean we’ve been behind them.
“But we have taken steps – and the next step is to be above them again.
“Last season is history now and hopefully this season we can achieve something better.”
Regarding Ronaldo, meanwhile, the Portugal international has faced criticism over his lack of pressing this term.
That, despite the 36-year-old scoring six times since his Hollywood homecoming from Juventus.
And Ronaldo, speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the game, has sent a defiant message to his critics.
“I know when the team needs my help defensively,” he said.
“But my role in the club is to win, help the team to win and to score goals – [the defensive side] is part of my job.
“The people who don’t want to see that is because they don’t like me but to be honest I’m 36, I win everything so am I going to be worried about the people who say bad things about me? I sleep good at night.
“I go to my bed with my conscience very good. Keep going with that because I will still close mouths and win things.
“Criticism is always part of the business. I’m not worried about that.
“And I see it as a good thing to be honest. If they worry about me or they speak about me, it’s because they know my potential and value in football still.
“So it’s good. I’ll give you an example: if you’re in a school and you’re the best student, you ask the worst student if he likes the best, they’ll say they don’t like him.
“I think the main word is that I’m still happy and enjoying football.
“It doesn’t matter how many things I won in my career. I win everything but I’m still motivated.
“I’m in a new chapter of my life, even with my age, and this is why I am here – to try to win and I think Manchester needs to be at this level of winning and thinking to win big things so I’m here to help.”
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