'We're ready for it' - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer relishing table-topping Manchester United's trip to Liverpool on Sunday
United head Premier League for the first time in three years before clash with defending champions
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United's visit to defending champions Liverpool on Sunday could not have come at a better time after moving top of the Premier League for the first time in three years.
Paul Pogba's deflected strike earned United a hard-fought 1-0 win at Burnley to move three points of clear of Liverpool, who have failed to win in their last three league games.
"It's a brilliant position to be in," said Solskjaer, whose future as manager had been under threat just a few months ago after a slow start to the season and group stage exit from the Champions League.
"We know we are going to the champions, they've had an unbelievable three-and-a-half seasons, we know that's going to be a difficult game, but we're ready for it.
"We couldn't be going there at a better time to play them because we are in good shape, good form, hungry, these boys want to get better and that's a test again."
In recent weeks Pogba has become an increasingly important influence in United's first serious title challenge since Alex Ferguson's retirement as manager in 2013.
The French World Cup winner dominated midfield in the second-half at Turf Moor and fittingly got the winner when his strike from the edge of the box took a deflection off Matt Lowton to wrong-foot Nick Pope.
Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has spoken openly about wanting to move his client on at the end of the season, but Solskjaer insisted the 27-year-old is a major part of his plans.
"I've always said Paul is a big, big player for us," added Solskjaer. "He is a good character in the dressing room, he is always one the lads look to (because) he's a world champion.
"We are seeing the best of Paul at the moment. He's getting better and better every game."
The English Premier League is very much a multicultural showcase these days.
Star names such as Liverpool and Egypt's Mohamed Salah, Tottenham and South Korea's Son Heung-min and Manchester City's Brazilian Gabriel Jesus come from different ends of the world as the number of nations represented in the league continues to grow.
Opening hours at Dubai malls during Ramadan
A host of Arab players have been both past and present, some making only fleeting stops while others were more successful and stayed longer.
Salah tops many lists these days and it will come as no surprise to find him ranked here as the best Arab player in Premier League history.
His goals continue to flow for Liverpool, while his trophy cabinet grows more full with each season.
The rest of the top 30, however, is open to debate.
In this instance the ranking is based on the perceived success of the player during his time in the Premier League.
That takes into account his own situation rather than his club's performance during the period, his impact, longevity and reputation thereafter.
Published: January 13, 2021 10:41 AM