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United primed to dent Liverpool title bid

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Chelsea's Eden Hazard in action with Manchester United's Andreas Pereira and Ander Herrera. REUTERS/David Klein

MANCHESTER (Reuters) – Manchester United may not be in the title race but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could have a big say in who does win the Premier League, starting with Sunday’s clash against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Manchester City lead the Premier League on goal difference from Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool with both teams on 65 points – 14 ahead of fourth-placed United.

City do not feature in the Premier League this weekend as they face Chelsea in the League Cup final, giving Liverpool an opportunity to return to the top of the table.

Liverpool haven’t claimed the league title since 1990 while United have won 13 in that period and their supporters love to remind their bitter north-west rivals of that fact.

Local pride aside, however, this is also a crucial game for Solskjaer as he bids to convince the Old Trafford hierarchy that he is the right man to lead the club on a permanent basis after his interim period runs out at the end of this season.

He is already a highly popular figure with United’s fans after leading the team to 11 wins in his first 13 games in charge and if he were to claim the scalp of Klopp’s Liverpool his approval ratings would go through the roof.

It was a defeat by Liverpool which offered Solskjaer his chance when Jose Mourinho was sacked following a limp 3-1 loss at Anfield in December.

United moved into the FA Cup quarter-finals with an impressive 2-0 win at Chelsea on Monday while Liverpool head into this weekend’s game after a 0-0 home draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

“It is a big game, it’s always big against them. It’s a game in hand as well and we look forward to that,” said Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson.

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