Man Utd's rivals want Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to win at Tottenham to keep Norwegian in charge, says Paul Merson

"The damning thing is the teams competing for Europe will want Man Utd to win at Spurs so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stays," says Paul Merson; watch Tottenham vs Man Utd live on Saturday Night Football from 5pm on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off at 5.30pm

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Paul Merson says Manchester United's European rivals will be hoping they win at Tottenham to keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in situ at Old Trafford.

United's first assignment after Sunday's 5-0 debacle against Liverpool sees them travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - live on Saturday Night Football - in desperate need of three points to relieve the pressure on their manager.

Solskjaer has seemingly been granted a stay of execution and the opportunity to turn things around, but another abject performance and result will surely plunge his long-term future at the club into further doubt.

Live: SNF

In his latest Sky Sports column, Merson predicts Solskjaer will get the victory he needs to keep his job but explains such a result would be welcomed by Manchester United's rivals…

'Rivals want Man Utd win so Solskjaer stays'

Everybody in and around the race for the top four and Europe - West Ham, Arsenal, Leicester - will be sweating on Manchester United winning at Tottenham.

The damning thing is they will want Manchester United to win so that Solskjaer stays.

You've only got to look at Chelsea since Thomas Tuchel has come in - they won the Champions League and now they are title favourites - see what an impact a new manager could have.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win against Manchester United in the Premier League

Must-win match for Solskjaer?

I'm not sure if Saturday's game at Tottenham is must-win for Manchester United.

If it is, and the club are keeping a manager in place with his future hanging perilously before every game, is that the right way of doing things? You cannot keep a manager's job on the line before every game because you've got to ask where is the club going?

But you just know what's going to happen. Manchester United will beat Tottenham, everything will be alright for another week. Then they might get a result at Atalanta, then they will probably get beat against Manchester City.

Manchester United are going around in circles. People keep saying they have improved under Solskjaer, but what do you mean by 'improved'?

This is Manchester United, they are there to win the league, not to make the numbers up or finish second. Second is no good to them.

Do any Man Utd players deserve to keep their places?

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Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher debate the future of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following Manchester United's humbling by Liverpool

The goalkeeper has done alright, David de Gea has been one of Manchester United's best players. If it wasn't for him against Atalanta and Liverpool things could have been a lot worse.

The real problem for Manchester United is who Solskjaer picks and how he sets the team up to do the job at Tottenham.

The only positive I can take from Sunday is that Raphael Varane didn't play. If he did play, then what options would Manchester United and Solskjaer be able to turn to next?

I'm not saying he would have made a huge difference to the result against Liverpool, but you could make the argument that he might be able to tighten the team up on his return.

It's a bit like the Virgil van Dijk situation, when he plays Liverpool are a better team, but then again, we have three years of proof with Van Dijk whereas Varane is yet to fully settle.

Players have to put things right

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Louis Saha says Manchester United's players must step up and take responsibility for their recent poor form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The vast majority of the Manchester United players who started against Liverpool are international footballers. I dread to think how many caps that Manchester United XI have between them.

I'll hazard a guess that team have over 500 caps between them. It must've been the biggest defeat for a team with that number of caps. Has a team with more caps lost at home in the Premier League by a greater margin?

This is not a team of kids; this is not an inexperienced team who were like a rabbit in front of headlights on a big occasion. This was a team full of internationals.

That performance was just unreal and just shouldn't ever happen, and when you put it in that context, it makes the defeat even worse.

Manchester United's players should be hurting. We all bang on about Solskjaer, but surely the players have got to have a bit about them. I guess we'll find out at Tottenham.

Premier League Preview: Redknapp's Tottenham vs Man Utd verdict | Will West Ham's rise continue? | Problems for Norwich, Everton

Pete Smith is joined by Jamie Redknapp, Oliver Yew and Simeon Gholam to preview another bumper weekend of Premier League action.

PART 1 | Jamie Redknapp previews the Saturday Night Football clash between Tottenham and Manchester United. Will United bounce back from their humiliating 5-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend?

PART 2 | Pete Smith is joined by Oliver Yew and Simeon Gholam to look ahead to Aston Villa vs West Ham on Super Sunday. West Ham's season continues to get better and better after their Carabao Cup victory against Man City. Will that good run continue at Villa Park?

PART 3 | Norwich vs Leeds on Super Sunday and Wolves vs Everton on Monday Night Football: Pressure building on Daniel Farke, Rafael Benitez looking for solutions.

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