Old Trafford will be a cauldron of noise when Manchester United face Newcastle on Saturday.
In case you have been on the moon in the last fortnight, this game will be remembered with the reintroduction of Cristiano Ronaldo.
So will Ronaldo start? In a simple word: “Yes”. The fans want to see Ronaldo, and the fans will get Ronaldo.
United’s last game at Old Trafford was a 5-1 win over Leeds and Solskjaer saw a similar result this weekend.
(Photo by Ash Donelon / Manchester United via Getty Images)
Who is available for the luminaire?
United’s injuries cleared up with Alex Telles and Scott McTominay both returning to training. But this game could be too early for either of them. Marcus Rashford is still out.
Big news is Fred’s suspension as FIFA imposed a ban at Brazil’s request after United refused to release him to qualify for the World Cup.
Uruguay has not requested the same ban, so Edinson Cavani is still an option.
Ronaldo is eligible to make his debut after training and completing his quarantine earlier this week.
David de Gea will start in goal and the back four should choose itself. Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire should get the chance to expand their partnership.
Midfield is the biggest problem United has to solve without Fred. This opening could provide the opening that Donny van de Beek desperately needs.
Chances are United are betting on Nemanja Matic instead, but we predict Solskjaer will select both players.
The partnership between Matic and Van de Beek worked together effectively as United beat Everton 4-0 last season. This should give Solskjaer confidence to go with the couple.
Paul Pogba can also fall back on the left wing position on which he played so effectively in the season opener against Leeds.
Ronaldo is likely to start up front with the support of Mason Greenwood on the right, with Bruno Fernandes as support. This is a team capable of hatful and we predict a comfortable win.
Four questions that Solskjaer will discuss
In an away game in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, several decisions are not to the point.
- Should United show confidence in Edinson Cavani, who skipped the international break, and take him off the bench for half an hour to an enthusiastic reception with Ronaldo?
- Is there a reason to start an attacking full-back Diogo Dalot in this game?
- Could this be an ideal opportunity to get Jesse Lingard involved from the start to rest Bruno Fernandes for Tuesday’s game?
- Paul Pogba has made all three international appearances and could benefit from a break if he’s fit should Jadon Sancho get the push to start on the left?
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