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Solskjaer fears Liverpool’s attack as Klopp makes Ronaldo, Salah comparisons

THE managers of England’s two biggest clubs have expressed respect for each other’s teams ahead of Sunday’s Premier League fixture.

Manchester United welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford in the weekend’s highest-profile fixture, with both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jurgen Klopp predicting a tough encounter.

Klopp’s side are unbeaten this season and are second in the Premier League table with 18 points from eight matches.

United, on the other hand, are in dodgy form, winning only three of their last eight fixtures in all competitions and recording no league victory in three matches.

Solskjaer is understandably worried about the damage Liverpool, especially the forward line of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Firmino, are capable of causing to his inconsistent side.

“Liverpool are in a great run of form and we have to have a strong mindset,” the Norwegian said during his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“We have to focus on Liverpool’s front three for 95 minutes to keep a clean sheet.”

The former Manchester United striker defended one of his players, Brazil midfielder Fred, who has repeatedly come under heavy criticism for poor performances.

“Fred’s a very good player, a regular for Brazil, which is a mark of his quality,” Solskjaer added.

“He tackles, he’s never afraid and the development he’s made since I’ve been here is great to watch. He will sacrifice himself for the team, that’s for sure.” 

Solskjaer then confirmed that Fred and Bruno Fernandes is an an injury doubt for Sunday’s big clash. 

“We have two or three carrying knocks. Bruno might be a doubt but he will do everything he can to get ready.” 

On his part, Klopp refused to dismiss United’s chances despite their struggles, shrugging off Paul Scholes’s comment that the Liverpool manager would be “rubbing his hands” after watching the Red Devils on Wednesday night.

Although United overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat Atalanta 3-2 in that UEFA Champions League clash, Solskjaer’s side were ruthlessly exposed time and again, and the Italians could have been out of sight by half-time.

Still, Klopp disagrees with United legend Scholes that Liverpool will have an easy ride on Sunday. 

“I was watching the game [United versus Atalanta] and there was not one second where I was rubbing my hands together,” the German said at his own press conference on Friday.

“Even in the first half, United had three clearcut chances. The second half was a demonstration of United going for it, which can cause problems.”

Klopp then weighed in on the debate of who is currently the better player between Cristiano Ronaldo and Salah.

He said: “Why should we compare? Both are world-class. Mo’s left foot is better, Cristiano may be better in the air and with his right foot.”Speed-wise, both are quick and desperate to score goals. But I’m not interested in comparing sorry!”

United are four points behind Liverpool in sixth place and another defeat for the Red Devils would leave them further adrift of their rivals.

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