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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 January 2019

Manchester United off to Dubai so they have legs in March and April, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Premier League club hope to jet into the UAE on Saturday on the back of four wins in a row

With the way they are playing right now, you could forgive Manchester United's players a few days on Dubai's beaches under the warm winter sunshine.

But while there will no doubt be a little down time for the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, the onus on United's forthcoming trip to the UAE is to work on their fitness.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the trip after his side's 2-0 victory at Newcastle United on Wednesday night in which Rashford and Romelu Lukaku were on the scoresheet.

"We've got the FA Cup on Saturday morning, 12.30pm kick-off. But then we'll go to Dubai and work on a bit of fitness," said the Norwegian.

"Of course, it's a good time now. You need that fitness work because towards the end of March and April we'll need legs and I think we've got them.”

United are anticipated to spend four days in the Emirates and are reportedly staying at the One&Only Royal Mirage resort, near to Palm Jumeirah.

They went on a similar trip last January when Jose Mourinho was in charge, but were initially greeted by heavy rain upon landing in Dubai.

United were, however, able to go and make the most of improved conditions with a session at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex.

Solskjaer has a 100 per cent record since taking over from Mourinho in December, having beaten Cardiff City 5-1, Huddersfield Town 3-1, and Bournemouth 4-1 before the most recent win over Newcastle. Solskjaer is only the second United manager, after Matt Busby, to win his first four matches in charge.

After facing Reading in the FA Cup on Saturday, he will face his stiffest test so far on January 13 when United visit Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

Solskjaer will be hoping his side feel the benefit of their fitness work in Dubai, having already played 28 matches in all competitions this season.

They have a minimum of another 20 matches, including two legs in the Uefa Champions League last-16 against Paris Saint-Germain in February and March.

Last season United played 56 matches after reaching the FA Cup final, which they lost 1-0 to Chelsea, and the Champions League first knockout round, in which they lost to Sevilla.

Dubai is a favourite location for European clubs during the winter months, with various Premier League sides visiting for fitness and rehabilitation in recent years.

Cristiano Ronaldo meanwhile was spotted working on his fitness in Dubai on Wednesday, as he posted a video of himself going for a night time run in the desert.

Ronaldo is here for the Globe Soccer Awards at Madinat Jumeirah on Thursday night, where he has been nominated for the Best Player Award. Juventus are currently on the Serie A winter break.

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Updated: January 3, 2019 02:46 PM

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