Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accepts he will have to rotate his Manchester United side to avoid injuries in a daunting run of three Premier League games in five days.
The Red Devils face Aston Villa on Sunday before hosting Leicester City on Tuesday, with Liverpool then visiting Old Trafford 48 hours later for the match that was rearranged following protests against the United owners last weekend.
It will be the first time United have played three league games in five days since April 1992. On that occasion, they beat Southampton 1-0 at home before drawing at Luton Town and then suffering consecutive defeats to Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Liverpool. They ended up losing the title to Leeds United by four points.
While winning the Premier League will be beyond them if leaders Manchester City beat Chelsea on Saturday, second-place United still require four more points to be certain of a top-four finish and have a Europa League final to come on May 26.
Solskjaer is concerned about a repeat of the results they suffered 29 years ago and is eager to make sure his players do not become burned out.
“I’ve never seen that schedule before in modern-day football,” he said. “I’ve looked through and I know Man United in 91-92 had a very similar run-in and you can see how the results deteriorated.
“If I’m going to look after the players, I’m going to make some decisions. I’ve got to look after the players, that’s the biggest thing, [avoiding] injuries to players and that’s too much of an injury risk.