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22nd Feb 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopeful that injured duo will return for Liverpool clash

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident that both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial will return from injury to play Liverpool

Reuben Pinder

A huge boost for United ahead of their biggest game of the season

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful that both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial will be fit to face Liverpool this Sunday. The pair both sustained injuries against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last week and missed United’s FA Cup tie against Chelsea.

United managed to proceed to the quarter-finals without Lingard or Martial, bringing in Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku, but will want to have both players back fit to face Liverpool, who pose a much greater threat.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, Solskjaer was more confident that Martial would be fit, while he ‘hopes’ Lingard will be ok.

“We’re looking okay,” Solskjaer said. “I hope Jesse will be okay, more hope than think. Anthony will be okay, but we’ve got a few more days. So they’ve got to get through these two sessions, they’ve not been part of it yet but they have been doing some recovery work. Anthony’s was a different muscle, so we think he might be ready and hope Jesse will.

“Every single player has the attributes to give us something and the way we played against Chelsea shows we can manage without them as well. We’ve got options, it’s a big squad, good players, everyone’s eager and they want to play in this game, some have not played so much if they get a chance in this game it’s a chance to step forward so if they don’t make it we might have the same team against Chelsea.”

Sunday will be Solskjaer’s biggest test yet as United manager, as they come up against their biggest rivals for the first time under his management.

In this fixture last season, Marcus Rashford scored a brace to secure a 2-1 win. Solskjaer will be hoping the 21-year-old can repeat that feat as United look to make history.

“We want to build this team to be worthy of Manchester United history and it’s another step [defeating Liverpool],” he said.

“Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea away – it was fantastic to win those three games. We want to be in the top four [at the close of the season] and we’re playing Liverpool. We know how big that game is for Manchester United, the staff, supporters, we’re just looking forward to another challenge for this team.

“We’ve taken a few steps in the right direction in that process of becoming a team that challenges higher up the league.”