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‘We Are In Good Shape’: United’s Solskjaer Confident Ahead Liverpool Showdown

Emmanuel Egobiambu With Agency Report  
Updated January 13, 2021
Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reacts at the final whistle during the English League Cup semi final first leg football match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Ol d Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on January 6, 2021.
PETER POWELL / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his side are in “good shape” as they visit defending champions Liverpool in a Premier League showdown on Sunday.

Solskjaer believes the game could not have come at a better time after moving top of the Premier League for the first time in three years.

Paul Pogba’s deflected strike earned United a hard-fought 1-0 win at Burnley on Tuesday to move three points of clear of Liverpool, who have failed to win in their last three league games.

“It’s a brilliant position to be in,” said a smiling Solskjaer, whose future as manager had been under threat just a few months ago after a slow start to the season and group-stage exit from the Champions League.

“We know we are going to the champions, they’ve had an unbelievable three-and-a-half seasons, we know that’s going to be a difficult game, but we’re ready for it.

“We couldn’t be going there at a better time to play them because we are in good shape, good form, hungry, these boys want to get better and that’s a test again.”

In recent weeks Pogba has become an increasingly important influence in United’s first serious title challenge since Alex Ferguson’s retirement as manager in 2013.

The French World Cup winner dominated the midfield in the second half at Turf Moor and fittingly got the winner when his strike from the edge of the box took a deflection off Matt Lowton to wrong-foot Nick Pope.

 

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba (C) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on January 12, 2021. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola has spoken openly about wanting to move his client on at the end of the season, but Solskjaer insisted the 27-year-old is a major part of his plans.

“I’ve always said Paul is a big, big player for us,” added Solskjaer. “He is a good character in the dressing room, he is always one the lads look to (because) he’s a world champion.

“We are seeing the best of Paul at the moment. He’s getting better and better every game.”