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Anthony Martial fit for Man Utd but Edinson Cavani requires fitness test ahead of derby

Man Utd's Anthony Martial fit for Manchester derby vs Man City; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer waits on Edinson Cavani fitness test; Watch Man Utd vs Man City on Saturday Night Football from 5pm on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 5.30pm

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Saturday's Manchester derby, live on Sky Sports, is the 'ideal' game to follow their disappointing Champions League exit in midweek

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Anthony Martial will be involved in Saturday's derby against Manchester City - live on Sky Sports - but Edinson Cavani faces a late fitness test.

Cavani and Martial missed Tuesday's Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig, which saw United finish third in their group and drop into the Europa League knockouts.

Despite that disappointment, United have won their last four Premier League games - a run which helped Bruno Fernandes pick up the November Player of the Month award - and Solskjaer believes the City match at Old Trafford presents his side with the perfect opportunity to bounce back from the defeat in Europe.

He said: "Of course we were disappointed on Tuesday night. It's natural, we really wanted to go through. We have to move on. It was a tight group, decided by fine margins. After that the focus has been good.

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"It's probably the best game you can ask for after such a disappointment because it does stick in the system."

On Martial and Cavani, he added: "Anthony will definitely be involved, Edinson has been on the grass but I'll make a decision later on."

Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial
Image: Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial missed Tuesday's defeat to RB Leipzig

Meanwhile, Solskjaer said he has spoken to Paul Pogba after the player's agent Mino Raiola said his client's time at United is "over".

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"I speak to my players on a daily basis, Paul is no different to anyone else," Solskjaer added. "For me, what was disappointing this week was us going out in the Champions League. Players want to go through in that. Whatever anyone's representatives say can't really affect me. I've said what I want to say about that."

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he cannot get distracted by Mino Raiola's comments claiming Paul Pogba wants to leave Man Utd, particularly with the derby coming up against Man City on Saturday, live on Sky Sports

Solskjaer also backed David de Gea after his costly error against Leipzig, which came before the Spaniard was one of 10 goalkeepers named on the FIFPro World XI shortlist.

"I think David is a top goalkeeper, of course I do. Rightly so. He's on lists for being on the best goalkeeper in Europe. He's handled criticism before, he's handled setbacks before, he's a man we really rely on, and hopefully he's not affected by criticism, and I don't think he will be because every goal a goalkeeper concedes you'd be disappointed with."

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Jamie Carragher thinks Paul Pogba will be fully aware of what his agent Mino Raiola is saying and thinks Manchester United should get rid of him if possible

'We're getting better and better'

Solskjaer is nearing two years in charge of United, his first game a 5-1 win at Cardiff on December 22 2018, and the Norwegian believes his side are continuing to improve despite criticism from some quarters for lacking a consistent approach.

He said: "I feel we're getting better and better, looking more and more like a United team I want with fast attackers. We're dynamic, we've got good players who've got individual players who create magic out of nothing. That's always good at United.

"The consistency that everyone says we don't have, of course we've won the last four games in the league, which is starting to become a good run and hopefully we can carry that on."

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says under-pressure Manchester Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not need his support ahead of Saturday's Manchester derby, live on Sky Sports

On the lessons learned from exiting the Champions League, he added: "We've learned any small mistake will get punished. We were very close to going through in a great group. That shows for me a team that has moved forward from drawing with Rochdale and barely beating Colchester [both in 2019].

"We've taken steps from the group stages. Short-term learning from this, is that we still have a little bit of a way to go to of course compete and go and win the Champions League. That's our aim. To win trophies and be contenders."

Merson Says: Derby is make or break for Ole

Sky Sports columnist Paul Merson:

For me, this is a massive football match. I would say that if he doesn't get through this, that could be it. I think it's make or break for Ole. That is, unless Man Utd have a different plan, and think differently about this club than everyone else.

Do Man Utd want anyone else? Are they comfortable with this situation? They run the show, there's no pressure, do they like that? Do the people who run Man Utd think they are the biggest club in football? Do they think like me, or do they think 'we're not that team anymore'?

Would Zinedine Zidane be in a job today if Real Madrid hadn't made the last 16 of the Champions League? Definitely not. They would have gone off the idea that they are the biggest club in the world, and would have made that decision.

I'd love to know whether those people running Manchester United are happy where they are. I don't get that feeling from the board that they believe they're the biggest team in the world.

Pitch to Post: Time to drop David de Gea?

There was plenty wrong with Manchester United's 3-2 defeat away to RB Leipzig which ended their Champions League involvement on Tuesday, from a sluggish start to wasted chances and defensive lapses. But could David de Gea's poor attempt to keep out the third goal cost him his starting spot?

The Spanish goalkeeper didn't cover himself in glory with his attempt to block Justin Kluivert's decisive close-range finish and with Dean Henderson putting pressure on United's long-term No 1, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be set to make a big call ahead of United's clash with Manchester City on Saturday.

Henderson replaced De Gea against Southampton when he picked up a knock and played all 90 minutes in last weekend's 3-1 win over West Ham. Sky Sports News James Cooper - appearing on the Pitch to Post Preview Podcast - now believes there is a real chance 23-year-old Henderson could be handed a first-team place for the derby.

Listen to the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox

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