Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists that Manchester United would be causing an “upset” if they were to beat Liverpool, despite being above them in the table.
United face their biggest game of the season so far as they take on rivals Liverpool on Sunday. Solskjaer’s side go into the match against the champions as the current league leaders, making for an intense battle.
Despite being above their opponents in the table, Solskjaer thinks his side go into the game as underdogs – and is looking forward to the challenge.
“You are always excited to play against teams of that quality and calibre,” he said.
“For us form goes out of the window when you play your rivals. We are confident. We are the challengers, they are the champions.
“Our mentality will be to work hard, to be humble and see what we can get out of the game.
“When you go to Anfield it is a big game for the players, for the fans. I am really looking forward to it.
“The next one is always the biggest, it’s always the most important.
“Being where we are in the league, that just gives us more confidence and it’s an indication of where we’re at.
“But the game against the champions, they’ve got an amazing record at Anfield in the league. They haven’t lost for many, many years so of course it’s a great test for us. Can we go there and cause an upset?
“If you look at the last few seasons, I think it would be an upset and it would be a shock (if United win).
“Our position at the moment is a product of all the hard work that we’ve done in the training ground and what the players are putting down every single day.
“We probably deserve to be where we are at at the moment but I don’t think many would have thought another word for it than an upset if you go six weeks back (and asked) if we beat Liverpool at Anfield.
“But we’re looking forward to the game and hopefully we can cause that upset.”
Even if they do get such a result, Solskjaer will not be thinking too far ahead in terms of their title bid – as has been the case ever since they went top.
“You don’t get anything for being at the top of the league in January, so it is not a congratulations,” he said.
“It’s not something which matters. It is where you are at the end of the season which matters.
“I don’t think about where we are going to end up.
“We have ambitions of winning every game, glad players think that way. We are doing something right.
“For us it is a chance to test us and see where we are really at.”
While claiming the underdog status, Solskjaer admits his squad’s mentality has been lifted by the fact they are top.
“For me I would rather be on top with the points than chasing,” he said.
“We are the challengers, the hunters. It is a long season. They are the champions, the ones who everyone would like to beat.
“Our mentality and mindset will be that we need that extra edge. Any little detail can decide one of these games. We have definitely thought we are at the top with everyone chasing us.”
Solskjaer gives injury updates
While much has been made of Liverpool’s injury issues, especially in defence, Solskjaer is having to deal with his own problems too.
He confirmed he has a number of doubts after their last game against Burnley, with two players ruled out for certain – but Anthony Martial is in contention to play.
“Well we have as many injuries as them!” Solskjaer quipped.
“That is just how football is. I will give everyone tomorrow to prove their fitness. Couple of knocks we got at Burnley that I’m not sure about.
“I’m going to give everyone a chance, another day. Anthony is not out of it.
“I think the only ones that are certainly out are Brandon (Williams) and Phil Jones. They’re the two that definitely cannot make the game.
“A couple of others maybe doubts, but we’re hoping, fingers crossed.”