Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Man Utd boss says his priority is to his side and not Liverpool after making changes against Leicester

Manchester United, featuring 10 changes from Sunday's win at Aston Villa, lost 2-1 against Leicester - a result which toughens Liverpool's challenge of Champions League qualification; watch Manchester United vs Liverpool on Thursday from 8pm on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off is 8.15pm

Manchester United's defeat to Leicester was the second of three Premier League games in five days
Image: Manchester United's defeat to Leicester was the second of three Premier League games in five days

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his priority is to his side and not Liverpool after he fielded a weakened team in the Premier League defeat to Leicester on Tuesday.

A much-altered United lost 2-1 at Old Trafford on Tuesday as the Foxes moved back up to third, with goalscorer Mason Greenwood the only player to retain his starting role from the league win at Aston Villa on Sunday.

United host Liverpool in their fourth match in eight days on Thursday, live on Sky Sports, with Jurgen Klopp's side seven points adrift of Champions League qualification and four games left in their season.

Asked whether he was prepared for a reaction from Liverpool, Solskjaer said: "My job is for Manchester United and my concern is the Manchester United fans.

"What they think about my team, what they want from my team and that we come together as one and show what Manchester United is."

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The defeat confirmed Manchester City as Premier League champions and also ended United's 14-match unbeaten run in the league, which started after the surprise home defeat to Sheffield United on January 27.

Despite the result, Solskjaer said several of his starting line-up, which included Premier League debuts for Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga, made a claim to be involved against Liverpool.

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"There will be changes of course but many of the players that played tonight did really well, so they are in contention," the Norwegian added.

"It is about managing the squad now, building momentum, building confidence, making sure we get enough points to get second [in the Premier League] and making sure we go into the [Europa League] final with confidence."

Klopp: I would have done the same as Ole

Liverpool boss Klopp said he too would have rung the changes if he had been faced with the same fixture congestion as his Manchester United counterpart.

Speaking to the media ahead of Thursday night's clash with their rivals, Klopp described the amount of games United have to play in such a short space of time as a "crime".

Manchester United made ten changes for their defeat to Leicester 1:54
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expected Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make major changes for their Leicester defeat and called Manchester United's rearranged schedule 'a crime'.

Klopp said: "It was the line-up I expected. Not exactly what I expected, but I knew he had to make these changes.

"They played on Sunday. Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday - I said it 500 times that with all the things that happened, and the protests at Manchester that led to that Sunday, to play Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday is a crime. It is.

"But it is not the fault of Ole and the players. My question to myself was: 'would I have done the same? Yes'. You have to. You have to.

"We are late in the season, all the players played a lot of games. United went to the Europa League final so that means an awful lot of games and now you get Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday. That is not possible.

preview image 3:02
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leicester's 2-1 win over Manchester United in the Premier League

"The explanation from the Premier League was that no other team should suffer because of what happened at Manchester (with the protests.) Let me say it like this, that didn't work out pretty well (for) West Ham, (for) Liverpool.

"In this case I think they could have done it differently but we get used to things not going in our favour and we accept it."

Ole 'hopeful' Maguire will be fit for Europa League final

Harry Maguire (AP)
Image: Harry Maguire will miss the final three Premier League games of United's campaign

Harry Maguire will miss the remainder of the league season after United confirmed on Tuesday the defender sustained ankle ligament damage in the weekend win against Aston Villa.

The United captain is an injury doubt for the Europa League final against Villarreal on May 26, with Solskjaer "hopeful" the 28-year-old, previously an ever-present in the league, will be fit for the showpiece in Gdansk.

preview image 0:43
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful Harry Maguire will be fit to play in the Europa League final as he joked he was not concerned whether the defender would prove his fitness in time for the Euros.

Asked whether he was concerned England's Maguire may wish to prove his fitness ahead of this summer's Euros, Solskjaer replied: "You always try and look after players long term.

"If he is fit, he will play for us, if he is not, he won't but we are hopeful that he will be ready and if he is ready for us then he will probably be ready for the Euros."

Ole pleased to retain Cavani next season

Meanwhile, Solskjaer is excited by what Edinson Cavani can provide at Old Trafford next season after he signed a one-year contract extension until June 2020 on Monday.

Edinson Cavani 0:28
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United will get the very best from Edinson Cavani next season because he will benefit from a full pre-season at the club.

"We have seen the last few months what we can expect and what we have wanted from him," the Norwegian said.

"Next season he will come ready, he will be fit when he comes pre-season.

"Last year he had seven months of not playing football to catch up on and that is not easy. He has had a couple of niggles because of that.

Cavani Contract vid 2:30
Gary Neville feels the announcement that Edinson Cavani has agreed a one year contract extension at Man Utd is ‘massive’ and he analyses the impact the striker has had on the Red Devils this season.

"He comes in every day does everything right. The boys will look at him. He gives us a No 9 position. I don't know how many games we will get out of him but of course he is one of the best No 9s in the world at the moment."

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