Soccer-Ronaldo is unique but Liverpool's Salah is 'on fire', says Solskjaer

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group F - Manchester United v Atalanta - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - October 20, 2021 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates after the match REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he would always back Cristiano Ronaldo to score goals but conceded on Friday that Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is in the form of his life ahead of Sunday's Premier League derby at Old Trafford.

Salah leads the Premier League goal scoring charts with seven goals and also has four assists in eight games while he also has five strikes in the Champions League.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp did not want to compare the two forwards earlier on Friday but Solskjaer praised Salah and also his team mates on the frontline -- Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.

"I'll always back Cristiano in any competition, he's unique and his goalscoring record is fantastic but that being said, Salah is on fire," Solskjaer told reporters.

"You see some of the goals he's scored lately, we know we have to be at our best to defend against him. Players like him don't come along very often. We have to enjoy these players from afar -- not Sunday, that's too close.

"Not just him, I'm a big admirer of their frontline for many, many years. Mane, Firmino, maybe Jota will play. They are players you should be focused on for 95 minutes to keep a clean sheet."

Liverpool are the only unbeaten team in the league this season and have scored at least three goals in each of their last eight away games in all competitions.

"They're on a great run of form, some individual skills that you cannot almost defend against but as a team, we have to be compact and aggressive," Solskjaer added.

"It's going to take everything to get results against one of the best teams in Europe, in the world. Liverpool are one of those teams at the moment.

"What they've done the last four years is what we're striving towards... We ended up above them last season, they had a bad spell with injuries last year but are now back to their best."

Solskjaer said two or three players will be given time to prove their fitness for Sunday's clash after suffering "knocks and bruises" in the midweek Champions League victory over Atalanta, adding playmaker Bruno Fernandes is a doubt.

"We'll give everyone time, we might have the whole squad back fit... Yes, Bruno might be a doubt but he's doing everything he can to be ready," Solskjaer said.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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