Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Sunday’s Manchester derby is a classic
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks the in-form Manchester clubs could serve up a thrilling derby encounter on Sunday.
United are unbeaten in nine games, following Thursday’s 3-0 FA Cup win at Derby, and will now look to boost their Champions League qualification prospects when City visit Old Trafford on Sunday.
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But Pep Guardiola’s squad have been imperious in recent weeks, following a 2-1 Champions League win at Real Madrid with a Carabao Cup final victory and an FA Cup fifth-round win of their own.
Solskjaer said: “They will feel confident. They have hit form, they are playing well. They have just been to the Bernabeu, winning there as well, and won the cup final.
Man Utd vs Man City
March 8, 2020, 4:00pm
“So I am sure they will play their game, we will play our game, and hopefully it will be a good one.
“Let’s hope it will be a 4-3, like we have seen before.
“There have been many classics. We will do what we can to make it a classic.”
There have more derbies than usual this season, because the teams played a two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final in January.
City won that 3-2 on aggregate, while United won the season’s first Premier League meeting, leaving the Etihad with a 2-1 win.
Solskjaer said: “There is not going to be any video Friday or Saturday, because we played them enough times.
“I think it helps because our team is developing and you want to play against the best.
“We want to learn and they have been the best for the past few seasons. For us, it’s a great challenge.”
The race for a top-four place has tightened up in recent weeks and United are three points behind Chelsea in fourth, with Wolves, Tottenham and Sheffield United also in the mix.
“We have just got to concentrate on ourselves and keep improving and keep getting results,” said Solskjaer.
“But I know it’s going to be tight, Wolverhampton are definitely putting up a challenge as well. There are loads of teams that want to get in the top four and we are one of them.
“We just need to manage our squad well enough, rotate well enough, and these next few games, they are important.
“If we can get six points from Manchester City and Tottenham [March 15], then we are giving ourselves a good chance.”
Solskjaer hails Ighalo’s Man Utd impact
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sang Odion Ighalo’s praises after the Manchester United striker scored twice in the 3-0 FA Cup fifth-round victory over Derby County.
Ighalo arrived at Old Trafford to much derision in the January transfer window, having spent the past three years playing in the Chinese Super League after a similar length spell at Watford.
But in just two starts for United, against Club Brugge in the Europa League and Derby, boyhood fan Ighalo has netted three goals.
“He is doing what it says on the tin and what we asked for when we signed him,” Solskjaer said.
He is coming in, playing up front, and he’s a different type of striker. He scores, he gets chances every game and today he could have had another couple. I am very happy with him. It gives us a chance with Mason (Greenwood) and Anthony (Martial) to keep them fresh as well.”
Maguire doubtful for Manchester derby
Harry Maguire is doubtful for Sunday’s Manchester derby after missing Manchester United’s FA Cup tie at Derby with a slight ankle injury.
The England international faces a race to be fit to face neighbours Manchester City, in a vital match for their top-four hopes.
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