With Cristiano Ronaldo contemplating a starting role for his second Manchester United debut, let’s look at four possible lineups the Red Devils could use.
12 years after leaving Old Trafford, Cristiano Ronaldo is back and ready for his second Manchester United debut.
The Portuguese ace reported to the club’s training base in Carrington on Tuesday for the first time since his blockbuster return. He has been training with his new team-mates for the week and plans to start in the Premier League game against Newcastle on Saturday.
“Of course I’ll get nervous on Saturday, but I’m more mature. I am experienced, I will be prepared. I’m going to put pressure on Ole to start in the XI, ”he said in an interview for former United team-mate Wes Brown MUTV.
Manchester United team news
Marcus Rashford is the only confirmed injury-related dropout with shoulder problems so far. Fred is also currently out as one of eight Brazilian Premier League players banned from FIFA this weekend.
Jadon Sancho, Scott McTominay and Alex Telles all got back into training this week.
Hurt: Marcus Rashford.
Doubtful: Dean Henderson, Scott McTominay, Alex Telles, Jadon Sancho.
How could they line up when Ronaldo starts?
It is safe to expect that David de Gea will start in goal. Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane join the No. 1 Red Devils in defense, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw occupy the full-backs. Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba are almost guaranteed starters, so there are potential four places in the line-up to be taken.
Solskjaer has used this formation for each of United’s three Premier League games so far. In that lineup, Ronaldo would start out as a lone striker with quality support from Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood.
With Fred currently banned, Donny van de Beek could make a rare start.
While Solskjaer stopped using a back three last season, the flexibility of this formation remains a great option. Of course, Ronaldo regularly had an offensive partner at Juventus and could favor him here.
With Jadon Sancho, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, and Greenwood, Ole has many options for a CR7 partner.
Another option is to use the pace of Sancho and Greenwood in the flanks. Solskjaer could use the youngsters alongside clinical Ronaldo while Fernandes and Pogba deliver the ball from the middle.
4-4-2 diamond formation
Solskjaer has also used this formation on occasion, offering Ronaldo another option to play with a partner.