Manchester United v Atalanta Match in Pictures
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Manchester United had initially feared Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford would miss today’s clash with Liverpool through injury. However, with both players snapped at the Lowry Hotel, they’re now set to start. And, for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, that’s a major boost.
Manchester United go up against Liverpool hoping to get their Premier League campaign back on track.
They’ve not won a match in the competition in nearly a month, with last weekend’s 4-2 defeat to Leicester a major low blow.
And, on Friday, Solskjaer hinted at concerns over Rashford and Fernandes.
“Games like Wednesday night are always going to bring knocks and bruises and we do have two or three carrying knocks from that game,” he said.
“I’ll give everyone time, I hope I can pick from a fully fit squad, I might be without two or three,” Solskjaer said.
“Bruno [Fernandes] might be a doubt but he’s doing everything he can to be ready.”
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And with the United pair being pictured at the Lowry ahead of the match, they could start the game – or at least feature at some point.
That, for Solskjaer, will be a substantial boost.
Rashford and Fernandes have struck up a brilliant partnership at Old Trafford in their 18 months together.
Both players topped the scoring charts for the club last season, ahead of Edinson Cavani.
And with United needing to beat Liverpool to get their league campaign back on track, it’s feasible Solskjaer will roll the dice by unleashing them from the start.
Rashford has bagged two from two since returning from injury, netting against Leicester and Atalanta respectively.
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And Fernandes has four assists from as many outings to his name, even if the goals appear to have dried up.
The Red Devils have been inconsistent under Solskjaer so far this season.
But victory over Liverpool would certainly lift some of the doom and gloom mood that’s engulfed the club in recent weeks.
And Solskjaer, looking ahead to the game, has called on his team to produce an electric performance.
“You know, a performance needs to consist of 90 plus minutes of attacking and defending,” he said.
“And definitely when you play against a team at the level of Liverpool.
“At the moment, they’re on a great run of form and there’s some individual skills that you can almost not defend against. As a team, we have to be compact, aggressive, we have to go out there and get every single drop of nouse, knowledge, strong mindset, physical energy.
“It’s going to take everything to get a result against the best teams in Europe and the world and Liverpool are one of them at the moment.
“They’re one of the teams that we’re chasing and we’re trying to chase.
“What they’ve done in the last four years is something that we’re striving towards, and of course to go past them.
“We ended ahead of them last season, they had a large spell of injuries, so now they’re back to their best.”
And Solskjaer also addressed comparisons between Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah.
“I’ll always back Cristiano in any competition. He’s unique,” he said.
“His goalscoring record has been fantastic and he just keeps on scoring.
“That being said, Salah, at the moment, he’s on fire. You see some of the goals he’s scored lately. We know we have to be at our best to defend against him.
“You know, players like this don’t come around very often and we have to enjoy them from afar, not on Sunday, that’s too close for me. We’ve got to do a good job, not just against him.
“I’m a big admirer of the front line they’ve had for many, many years now with Mane and [Roberto] Firmino. Maybe Jota will play, who knows?
“There are players that we have to focus on, we have to be nailed on for 95 minutes to keep a clean sheet.”
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