"We need luck to beat Manchester City" - Solskjaer

Solskjaer speaks on his record against Pep Guardiola; Raphael Varane's injury; and Cristiano Ronaldo's impact ahead of the Manchester derby

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola

Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has played down past results between him and Pep Guardiola, insisting that he has great admiration for the City manager and his team would need luck sometimes to beat Manchester City.

Solskjaer has won three of the last four league games against Guardiola's Manchester City side, keeping three clean sheets in the process but the Norwegian is keeping his team grounded ahead of a crucial clash.

"No, you look at the next game, I'm not one to talk about what I've done, I've got great respect and admiration for Pep and what he's done, we've had some good results and tight games, we need another performance like this, sometimes you need luck, we know this game we have to suffer a lot but we have to believe, trust ourselves because we're at home and have had a couple of good results," Solskjaer said in his press conference on Friday.

The 48-year-old manager also downplayed rumours about his job being in danger after the 5-0 thrashing in the hands of Liverpool, stating that there has always been speculation concerning his job since he became United's manager in 2018.

Solskjaer told pressmen: "When I stepped in the doors here in Dec 2018, three years ago, there's been speculation ever since, that's no problem, we've moved on from Liverpool, it's a dark moment in our careers, we've had a good two weeks, you don't expect an easy ride when you become manager of Man United, that's how it is."

On the Liverpool defeat and his team's reaction to it: "We've moved on from that one, of course, it's gonna be in the history books but we've had a good week, good results away from home, different games, we've got to go in this game believing we can do good things. It's a local derby and everyone knows what's at stake," Solskjaer added.

Solskjaer gave updates on his defensive options ahead of the Manchester derby, confirming the unavailability of Raphael Varane while casting doubt on Victor Lindelof's involvement. Eric Bailly might be in contention to start for the Red Devils after the manager praised his impact against Atalanta.

Solskjaer said: "He's (Lindelof) still a doubt, but hopefully, he can come back in tomorrow and say he's ready... I would expect him to be ready, put it that way but I can't promise you.

"With all the technology now you expect him (Varane) to be out for four or five weeks with the scans. It's a blow for us. Raphael has come in and been really really influential. Eric came in last time and was excellent. That's why we have a big squad and cope with absentees."

The manager also had lofty words for Cristiano Ronaldo, tagging him as 'one of the best players that's ever walked on this planet,' whilst praising his goal contribution and work ethics.

"He's one of the best players that's ever walked on this planet and his impact on and off the pitch has been absolutely immense, the way he conducts himself, how people can say that as a negative I can't see that one. He scores goals, works for his team, and is a top, top pro," Solskjaer concluded.

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