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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been asked about the fitness of his squad, ahead of Sunday’s Premier League meeting with arch-rivals Liverpool.
United, second in the Premier League and closing in on securing Champions League qualification for the 2021/22 season, come into the game on the back of Thursday’s magnificent 6-2 ousting of Roma at Old Trafford.
It’s another quick turnaround before the Merseysiders’ visit to M16 on Sunday, with kick-off for our first May fixture set for 16:30 BST.
But Ole had some positive news on the injury front, as we look to clinch the positive result which will see us finish above the Anfield outfit in the league for the first time in three seasons.
“No it doesn’t look like we got any bad injuries,” Solskjaer told club media on Friday.
“Obviously the first morning [after] you’re tired. The second day you feel if there is any longer effects on your body – I needed a few days towards the end of my career to recover from games like that [Roma]!”
That means long-term absentees Anthony Martial and Phil Jones look to be the only men missing for United on Sunday, so the boss has plenty of options for the visit of Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Dean Henderson and Daniel James were rested for the Roma clash after featuring in the 0-0 draw with Leeds, while Mason Greenwood only played the last quarter of an hour. The likes of Alex Telles, Eric Bailly and Donny van de Beek are also available, and the Norwegian said he would pick his XI based on how fresh the players are.
“I don’t think you can take anything for granted in any game. We have to wait until Sunday morning to see how the players are,” added Ole.
“Thursday night was an intense game and we need to see who is really fresh and fit to play against Liverpool because you definitely don’t take anything for granted in the knock-out phase, even when you’re four goals up in a semi-final.
“The performance was excellent, but you can see they had two chances and scored two goals. If they get too many chances in Rome we can’t put ourselves in that position.
“We’ll pick a strong team for that one [the second leg] and on Sunday morning we’ll have to decide on the Liverpool team because it was a hard game.”
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LIVERPOOL’S TEAM NEWS
The Merseysiders are still without their three primary centre-backs, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip not expected to play again this season due to long-term injuries. Nathaniel Phillips, who has filled in commendably in defence in recent months, is a doubt with a hamstring issue.
Captain Jordan Henderson’s return from a groin issue is still thought to be a few weeks away, while forward Divock Origi hasn’t appeared since late February because of muscular problems.
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“Without winning football games we will not end up in any European competition, so it’s clear for us. We have to win,” Klopp told reporters on Friday.
“It’s a very tough, intense game for both teams. We could see last night United playing and they are good. Especially after the half-time talk it looks like they were really flying.
“It’s a tough one. It will be a game where two teams try to win it. That’s a good start for a football game I’d say. It’s a recipe for a good game.”