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Football Reporting


Man Uniteds Solskjaer Leipzig showdown gives players chance to show they belong at club

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his Manchester United players to prove they belong at the club and book their place in the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

United need at least a point from a tricky trip to RB Leipzig on Tuesday to earn a place in the round of 16 and Solskjaer has told his star men they will be expected to show up on what is a crucial night.

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“The players are Manchester United players because they have qualities we’ve looked for,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Monday.

“I’m sure they will prove the reasons why they’re here, they will show it. The character of the group is getting better and better.

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“It’s something we want, games like this, it’s a tradition for Man United, we never make it easy for ourselves.”

Harry Maguire will captain Solskjaer’s team in Germany and the defender said the squad will take confidence from their performance on the final day of last season when they won 2-0 at Leicester City to seal a return to the Champions League.

“I joined this club for the biggest game possible,” Maguire said. “You step up in those pressure games, the big players step up in the big games.

“It’s similar to Leicester last year where we had to go and get a result to reach the Champions League. We feel ready and prepared and we’re looking forward to it.”

David De Gea and Luke Shaw have been passed fit to travel after recovering from injury but United will be without Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial after both were ruled out with what Solskjaer described as “minor niggles.”

Despite having his attacking options dented, and only needing a draw to qualify, Solskjaer said he will send his team out to win the game.

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“You’ve got to approach the game as a 90 minute game, anything can happen in any moment, you can’t sit back and hope for a 0-0 draw, it’s not in our genes,” Solskjaer said.

“We want to go out there and win a game, we showed that against PSG, you have to create chances and we’ll do that again.”

Maguire added: “We spoke about it this morning, we want to win the game, we’re not going to sit back.

“We created three or four very good chances to beat PSG. We go there and look to win, we look to win every game we play.”

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