Manchester United travel to Aston Villa for their second match against Steven Gerrard’s men in five days, with Ronaldo returning from injury for the Premier League match.
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Manchester United interim coach Ralph Rangnick is set to welcome Cristiano Ronaldo back to the starting line-up as the Red Devils prepare to face Aston Villa for the second time in five days.
United advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a narrow victory over Villa on Monday, although Rangnick’s men were uninspiring for most of the encounter at Old Trafford.
Team Rangnick have a chance to put that poor performance behind them on Saturday night when they travel to Villa Park, where they need a win to keep up with their top four rivals.
The Red Devils are currently seventh in the English Premier League, six points behind fourth-placed West Ham, while Arsenal and Tottenham are also vying for the last place to qualify for the Champions League.
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But Rangnick received a triple boost in his hopes of guiding United to victory with news of Ronaldo, Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho all competing for play.
“I think they will be available. They only trained for the first time, Cristiano yesterday, I think Harry was the day before yesterday.
“It looks like now we have to wait for the last training session this afternoon but it looks like now it should be available for tomorrow.”
Their return from injury means Rangnick should be able to pick the best starting lineup possible for him.
David de Gea has been one of the few bright spots for Manchester United this season, with the Spanish goalkeeper returning to his form.
He cemented his status as United’s player of the year over Dean Henderson, and will continue his goal on the trip to Villa Park.
With Diogo Dalot on United’s transfer list, that could see Aaron Wan-Bissaka return to the starting line-up.
Wan-Bissaka was left off the bench for Monday’s game with Aston Villa, but has started United’s two Premier League games before then and is expected to reclaim his place at right-back.
Maguire’s return to fitness is welcome news for Rangnick, who will be able to select the strongest duo in the center of defence.
United captain Maguire should partner Raphael Varane in the center of defence, as the duo have an almost perfect track record when playing together.
While he’s far from the level he was last season, Luke Shaw appears to have beaten Alex Telles in the race to keep top left-back for Rangnick and should continue there on Saturday.
Scott McTominay was man of the match in the FA Cup win over Villa, the winner scored, and is expected to continue in midfield alongside Fred.
United sorely lacked creativity in midfield against Villa, but Bruno Fernandes is likely to continue in one of two positions ahead of the defensive midfield duo.
And despite a disappointing performance this season, Mason Greenwood should take another place behind the strikers.
The United attack will be the strongest duo between Rangnick, as Ronaldo prepares to partner with Edinson Cavani.
Possible Manchester United team vs FIA (4-2-2-2): David de Gea. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw; Fred, Scott McTominay; Bruno Fernandez, Mason Greenwood; Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani