Ole Gunnar Solskjaer urged to drop Bruno Fernandes for Man Utd’s clash vs Liverpool
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been told to rest Bruno Fernandes for Manchester United’s FA Cup clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford. It’s less than a week since the two heavyweights went head to head in the league, registering a 0-0 draw.
But on Sunday, the two lock horns again, as they look for a place in the final 16.
The Red Devils find themselves at the top of the Premier League after a run of 13 games unbeaten saw them close the gap and eventually overtake the champions.
And with United in their best position since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Paul Merson has urged Solskjaer to give Fernandes the afternoon off on Sunday.
“United should rest Bruno Fernandes against Liverpool this weekend. He looks tired to me,” he wrote in his Daily Star column.
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“He’s played every single game in the league and all those minutes start to add up after a while.
“For me, he doesn’t play in this game. United haven’t had a chance to win the league like this for a few years.
“They have to take this chance and prioritise the title race. The FA Cup just isn’t as important.
“It’s more important to keep him as fresh as possible for the league. He lifts them. They look to him to make things happen.”
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Fernandes has been in stunning form this season, registering 25 goal involvements in just 28 games.
But with United in the midst of a hectic fixture schedule, questions have been asked about whether he could burnout in the second half of the season.
Solskjaer was asked about the Portuguese star’s fitness levels in the build-up to their latest win over Fulham, where he once again played an influential role.
“His form’s been very good and he’s just won the Player of the Month award. He’s not tired – no chance,” Solskjaer said last week.
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Despite maintaining their unbeaten run at Anfield last time out, United have come under focus for what many saw as a negative approach.
Jurgen Klopp hinted that Solskjaer’s side came to defend and Merson offered a similarly damning review of their attacking ambitions.
He added: “United basically parked the bus against Liverpool in the league game. Jose Mourinho would have got slaughtered for it.
“But it worked because they got a draw and that’s all they needed. They might have more of a go in this one but they won’t want to open up too much and lose heavily.”
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