Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United set for two huge injury boosts ahead of Liverpool clash

Manchester United's injury prognosis could have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrating before kick-off on Sunday.
Manchester United's injury prognosis could have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrating before kick-off on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial could return for Manchester United's crunch clash with Liverpool.

The attacking duo were forced off during last week Champions League last-16 loss to Paris St Germain and missed Monday's FA Cup win at Chelsea.

Lingard and Martial were expected to be out until the start of March with hamstring and groin issues respectively, but the pair are recovering well and could now feature on Sunday against bitter rivals Liverpool.

"We're looking OK," Solskjaer said of the squad. "I hope Jesse will be OK. More hope and think that Anthony will be OK, but we've got two more days so they've got to get through these two sessions.

"They've not been part of it yet but they've been doing some recovery work.

"Anthony's was a different muscle, so we think that he might be ready and hope that Jesse will."

Solskjaer knows all about eagerly anticipated encounters with Liverpool from his playing days and is ready to go to battle on Sunday.

"I've played in a few of these myself and I know the magnitude of it for the fans, for everyone who works here, the staff," United's caretaker manager said.

"There has been many comments about, 'this is the big one' and 'we're looking forward to this one'.

"Then it's our job to be focusing and channelling all that energy into performance mode when we start the game on Sunday.

"It's not about emotions. I understand that emotion can be brought into it but we have to stay focused and controlled but with some fight in us as well."

United were comfortably beaten 3-1 at Anfield in December and that proved to be Jose Mourinho's final match at the helm.

The Portuguese was known for his mind games ahead of big matches, as was Solskjaer's mentor Sir Alex Ferguson.

Asked if mind games were something he bought into as a manager, the Norwegian said: "Nah. I don't think Jurgen Klopp will read what I say.

"I'm not going to read what he says or the players say. That's further down the line I would think.

"But (Ferguson) would be welcome to have his talk to the players if he wanted to, the gaffer, because we know how much it meant for him to overtake Liverpool.

"I think our players know what it means for everyone at Man United. No (plans for Ferguson to come in right now)."

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