Liverpool have been one of the best teams in Europe recently while United have looked like a mid-table side at best ever since Ole has accepted the permanent manager role at Old Trafford. Yet, the United team and coach seem to be relishing the challenge of facing their bitter rivals on Sunday.
Win or lose, this game could be a turning point for Solskjaer’s managerial ambitions. Should he suffer an embarrassing defeat at home, this may be the beginning of the end for the Norwegian. He may start losing the players’ trust and end up like Jose Mourinho – fired by Christmas.
However, should he mastermind an improbable win against Klopp’s men, this might be just what his United team need to kick start their season. Even a hard fought draw might energize his players for the games ahead, at least until January when United will be able to bring in reinforcements.
United face Partizan Belgrade twice, Norwich City, Bournemouth, Brighton, Sheffield United, Astana and Aston Villa before December 1st. This relatively lenient run of fixtures could easily bring them back on track for the top four in the EPL and book their place in the Europa League knockout stage, easing the pressure on Solskjaer but first he needs an acceptable performance from his team against Liverpool.
The potential return of Anthony Martial will also be key to Ole’s future. The Frenchman is United’s best offensive player and his absence has been felt by everybody at the club. Playing Martial as number nine, where he can be lethal, and using Rashford and James as marauding wingers, is United’s best possible offensive combo. With Pogba and McTominay marshalling the midfield infront of a pretty good defence, United should at least be able to navigate the more favorable fixtures.
This United-Liverpool game is not just another Premier League game – it has much more meaning and implications than any other regular game, highest among which might be Solskjaer’s future at United.
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