Manchester United and Liverpool play each other in a pulsating rearranged fixture at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits that any game against Liverpool will be a “difficult” match. When both these heavyweights take on each other, the game has always meant more to the clubs and their supporters. It has always been more than just three points in this fixture. United will be playing Liverpool on the back of a 1-2 defeat against Leicester City on Tuesday. Ole was forced to make 10 changes to the side following fixture congestion. With many of the regular starters rested against the Foxes, the manager can expect his first team to be fresh to face their old foes.
Speaking to MUTV, Ole said, “Everyone wants to play every game! Everyone today was prickling me on the shoulder – ‘I want to come on, I want to come on.’ It’s a good thing. There’s a good atmosphere, a good spirit in the camp and the game against Leicester is not going to stop that momentum. Of course. It’s not just three points.”
Since many players were rotated against Leicester, Solskjaer believes they will have a fresher team available for Thursday’s encounter. “Yeah, we need loads of changes. Definitely. Of course, the ones who played on Sunday [at Aston Villa], most of them had a rest on Tuesday and some of them had run-outs. We’ll have a fresher team than we had on Tuesday,” he added.
United have played Liverpool twice this season. In the Premier League, it finished goalless at Anfield, while the Red Devils knocked Jurgen Klopp’s side out of the FA Cup with a 3-2 win at Old Trafford. “Always difficult games. They’re a good team and had some margins against them this year,” he stated.
“We’re looking forward to it. It’s a test for us, in the last stretch of the season, we want to build some momentum and confidence. A game against Liverpool at home is a perfect chance to do that.”
Solskjaer spoke about the importance of maintaining the momentum in the build-up to a big European final against Villarreal on 26th May in the Europa League. “When you play a final, you want to into that final bouncing and feeling confident. You feel this is the last game and always build-up to the last game of the season anyway. We are ready,” he said.