Later News Jan 11

Solskjaer expects Manchester United’s defence to be back at full strength for Liverpool match

Manchester United should have its best defenders back in time for their crunch match against reigning Premier League champions Liverpool this coming weekend, says United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.


Given that United have the joint-sixth worst defensive record in the league, that might not seem like much. But every little bit counts when you’re taking on a team like Liverpool. And it counts a lot more when your backup senior defensive options are named Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo.


Thankfully for United fans, Solskjaer believes the Red Devils – who overcame Watford 1-0 in the FA Cup third round on Sunday – will be able to welcome back the likes of Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw from injury for their upcoming trip to Anfield.


WATCH: Solskjaer discusses Watford win


All three players, however, will likely not feature in United’s clash against Burnley on Wednesday morning (SGT) – a match that will see United take pole position in the league with a win.


Echoing the sentiments of millions of nervous United fans worldwide, Solskjaer said: “I hope [they will be back] for Liverpool, definitely. I’m not sure if they'll make the Burnley one. We'll see on Monday.” 


While United fans are already salivating at the prospect of taunting their Liverpool counterparts from the top of the table come Wednesday, Solskjaer remains insistent that his team should not be considered title contenders. Yet.


“We're not even halfway through the season, no one will remember how the league table looked like in January,” Solskjaer mused. “I think it's great that our fans are excited and they're happy with where we are at and that we have this little sense of excitement, but then we're not even halfway through [the season].


“For me, all my eyes are on [Burnley] and then let's see where we're at after that one.”


Meanwhile, Carlos Vinicius tried to trick Jose Mourinho into thinking he was Kylian Mbappe, as he imitated the French player’s goal celebrations after scoring a first-half hat-trick in Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-0 win over powerhouses Marine AFC.


WATCH: Mourinho reveals Vinicius has been learning English from Lucas Moura


Vinicius, who has yet to really set the Premier League alight, showed just what he was capable of against a team made up of teachers, plumbers, electricians and such.


After the game, Mourinho praised his players for putting on a professional display against the mighty Mariners.


“I'm always very proud to be in the FA Cup and situations like this, for people who are mad about football, I think it means a lot,” Mourinho said.


“As Tottenham coach, I'm very happy with the players' attitude, not risking too much, a little cautious, especially the creative guys, but good attitude, win the match as soon as possible, the result done at half-time, and everything is fine.”




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