Not many would have picked Manchester United for title challengers this season, and when Liverpool’s league rivals bombed out of the Champions League in early December, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemed closer to the sack than silverware.
Just six weeks on, though, and United are poised to leapfrog Liverpool with a result from game in hand against Burnley on Tuesday, which made their clash against the Reds on the weekend an inevitable talking point at Solskjaer’s pre-match press conference.
“Every game against Liverpool matters a lot anyway,” said the United manager. “But for me, all my eyes are on Tuesday and then let’s see where we are. We’re not even halfway through the season yet and every game in the Premier League is a challenge.
“Watford, they gave us a test, Burnley is one test, and Liverpool is another, then Fulham. No one will remember how the league table looked like on January 12th, 2021, but we have momentum now and, of course, we want to build momentum again.”
United have won six of their last eight games in all competitions, with a draw with Leicester in the league and loss to Manchester City in the League Cup their only blemishes. Liverpool, by comparison, have won just three of their last eight games in all competitions.
All of which makes Sunday’s clash between the two sides a potentially season-defining match—a chance to United to establish themselves as genuine contenders and for defending Champions Liverpool to get their faltering season back on track.
“If we can get a win on Tuesday then you can go into the next game confident,” Solskjaer’ added of United’s challenge that before Sunday’s headlining match. “Every game in the Premier League is a chance to build more confidence.”