We spoke to the editor of Stretty News and Manchester United fan Dale O’Donnell about Sunday’s crunch clash at the top of the Premier League – and encouraged him to avoid politeness and provide us with his true opinions on us, them and the game.
Dale too umbrage with our suggestion that Solskjaer might not actually be that good, didn’t like the question about refereeing decisions going United’s way this season and thinks Marcus Rashford will be giving Trent Alexander-Arnold sleepless nights before the Anfield tie!
We can’t quite remember a time we wanted to win one against these lot quite as much!
So, Dale – the big on this Sunday… When was the last time you were this excited for a Liverpool v Manchester United clash – and who won?
Ugh. I don’t really get excited, it’s more nerves to be brutally honest. My stomach churns the morning of the game and I don’t relax until the full-whistle is blown.
There’s momentum about United right now so obviously I’m more excited looking at the bigger picture than just this game.
United are three points clear. So far in games between Klopp and Solskjaer, your team have been underdogs and played very defensively – hoping for something on the break or a set-piece. But with the dynamic changed, will this affect Ole’s tactics?
No, it shouldn’t. I’d take a draw on Sunday but think we’ll stick the knife in and try go for the kill.
Which United players do you think will do the damage on Sunday – and are there any you’re worried about?
Bruno Fernandes is the obvious answer, so I’m going to give you another.
I loved how we destroyed Leeds a few weeks back with Scott McTominay being the driving force from a deeper position than, say, Fernandes. McTominay is a proper United lad and I expect him to ruffle a few feathers on Sunday.
Same for Liverpool – who scares you in our lineup and where do you think you can get some joy?
Mo Salah is scoring goals for fun this season and we haven’t got Ashley Young to keep him quiet anymore…
As for where we can get joy, it’s usually down that flank with Trent. His sleep pattern must be ruined from the Marcus Rashford flashbacks… Anyhow, maybe he’s lucky because Rashford has been pretty hit and miss this season.
Last season, when Liverpool were cruising it – opposition fans nauseatingly just claimed it was down to refereeing decisions and VAR favouring us – despite the stats and evidence simply disproving it. There are similar noises regarding United’s run of good forms, especially the penalties received under Ole. Is this just something that happens to teams that are winning matches? Or do you think United have had the rub of the green with officials this season so far?
Every season you get decisions your way and against. It’s funny how you note that it was nauseating for Liverpool, but that hasn’t stopped Klopp talking crap in the lead up to this game. It’s really boring.
Is Solksjaer a very, very good manager – or does he simply have a very good group of players under him who are finally doing what they should have been doing for years?
Very, very good managers win trophies. It’s still too early to say, but I think it’s insulting to suggest this turnaround had nothing to do with Solskjaer when he’s done something no United manager has done since Sir Alex Ferguson by having United on top of the table midway through the season.
I’m not getting ahead of myself but we’re involved again and can see progress.
What’s going to happen on Sunday. Talk us through how the game will pan out tactically and who wins.
2-1 win United.
From the beginning we’ll try to hit Liverpool on the break because this is a game you could do with winning. That could play into our hands a little but I also expect United to take risks in the game.
The first goal will be crucial but I’m going forl 2-1 United on the day.
Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford – as well as a goal from Salah.
And more importantly – who finishes the season on top – and why?
At the beginning of the season, I predicted the top three as follows: Man City, Man United, Liverpool.
I’m not changing my mind and think City will soon find their groove.