Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United’s hectic schedule makes it "impossible" for his side to keep the pressure on Manchester City in the final weeks of the season.
It is still mathematically possible for United to beat City to the league title after Pep Guardiola’s side lost against Chelsea at the weekend, and Solskjaer’s side could close the gap to four points before City play again.
United to would need to win all of their remaining games and hope that City don't win in their last three against Newcastle, Brighton and Everton, but Solskjaer does not believe they will be able to keep the pressure up on the leaders due to this week’s schedule of two games in three days.
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What was said?
Solskjaer said: “I wish I could have said let’s go full out in all the games, but it’s impossible. That’s the hard bit for me, knowing if I do play this XI [that played against Villa] on Tuesday and then again on Thursday, it’s impossible, I run too much of a risk in injuring them.
“Talking about integrity in the league and stuff, don’t blame me when I have to make changes because I have to. It’s not safe for them to play all four so I have to prioritise.”
Why do United have two games in three days?
The reason behind United’s hectic schedule is down to the rearranged Liverpool game, which had to be postponed after protesting fans made their way into Old Trafford.
The rearranged game is scheduled for Thursday, meaning United's game against Leicester, which should have been played on Wednesday, has been pushed to Tuesday despite the team playing on Sunday away to Aston Villa.
After the game against Liverpool, United have two league games left this season - a home clash against Fulham before the final match of the campaign against Wolves.
What else was said?
Solskjaer did not give team news as he said it would be a late decision on Tuesday, but Harry Maguire looks unlikely to be available having gone off in the win against Villa with an ankle injury.
“We can have a theoretical team now but we’ll have to see how they react when they come in tomorrow and on Tuesday morning, and then pick a team Tuesday afternoon,” Solskjaer explained.
“Amad and Shola Shoretire are in contention, yeah definitely,” he added. “They’re in the first team squad they’re training with us every day so I would think that some of the young boys will get an appearance definitely.
“If it’s coming on towards the end or it’s starting I don’t know because I don’t know how the players will be on Tuesday when we see them.”