Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that he is willing to cause a rift among the Premier League’s top-four chasers amid his side’s fixture pile-up.
The postponement of last Sunday’s clash with Liverpool has caused an even more contracted end to the season. The Red Devils now have to play nine games in 15 days to finish their domestic campaign. Crucially, though, they play Jurgen Klopp’s side two days either side of matches with Aston Villa and Leicester.
As a result of the pile-up, Solskjaer has said that he is willing to field completely different teams to protect his players.
With a top-four spot close to being secure for United, the bigger goal is the Europa League final on May 26.
Before then, though, they have a chance to affect the make-up of the table – including potentially their own fate – by playing top-four hopefuls Liverpool and Leicester. Chelsea, West Ham and Tottenham will also be watching on in the hope of capitalising on a bad result.
But amid the prospect of weakened United teams playing, Solskjaer says that he could not care less.
“One of them might not be happy because I play a full team maybe in one and the next 11 in the other,” Solskjaer told reporters (via The Guardian).
“I’ve got to look after the players. That might be someone not happy with my team selection for one game or two games.
“That might affect whoever gets into fourth position or the Champions League. That’s not my problem. That’s everyone else’s problem.”
Solskjaer was speaking for the second time in a day about the pile-up, though this time more at length. He reiterated that playing “four times from Thursday to Thursday” at “this intensity” is “impossible”.
As such, he is looking to “prioritise”, which could lead to anger from top-four hopefuls.
Man Utd man could be robbed
As well as the packed schedule posing injury fears, Solskjaer has spoken of the other impacts it will have on players.
Captain Harry Maguire, for example, is now unlikely to finish the season having played every minute in the top flight.
“I just keep my fingers crossed that no-one will get injured. That’s going to be my biggest concern, injuries,” the manager added.
“Harry Maguire has played every minute for us in the Premier League since he came. I don’t think that’s possible now.
“That’s another record or another stat that he could have been very, very proud of but I can’t really see that happening now.”
United begin their schedule with a clash against Aston Villa on Sunday.
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