Cristiano Ronaldo’s Old Trafford homecoming went about as well as it could’ve on Saturday, as Manchester United beat Newcastle 4-1.
Ronaldo spoke about what his new team needs to do to win the Premier League and the Champions League in the aftermath, and United get their campaign going in the latter on Tuesday evening – with a trip to Switzerland to play Young Boys.
United kicked off their 2018/19 Champions League campaign with this very fixture, winning 3-0 on a plastic pitch thanks to two goals from Paul Pogba and one from Anthony Martial. Given they’ve just signed the leading goalscorer in UCL history, you’d expect a similar result this time around.
Here’s a look ahead to the eleven players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could pick for the fixture. Ronaldo’s definitely playing, isn’t he?
David de Gea (GK) – You’d maybe expect Dean Henderson to step in here if fully fit, but he’s still on his way back following a bout of COVID. Perhaps it’s too early for him.
Diogo Dalot (RB) – It may be time for some rotation. One of the changes could be Dalot in for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, as you’d envisage United having a lot of the ball here and more work will be done going forwards than backwards. Dalot’s delivery is generally quite good.
Raphael Varane (CB) – Has won four Champions Leagues before. Victor Lindelof will be pushing for a game and could get the nod, but it may be worth building up that partnership with Harry Maguire for a few weeks.
Harry Maguire (CB) – The captain is almost always there, so expect him to start here too.
Luke Shaw (LB) – Alex Telles is still struggling with injury so Shaw is likely to continue. As seen on Saturday, he adds a lot of drive to the team nowadays and it’s noticeable when he’s not there.
Paul Pogba (CM) – Where’s Donny?! Well if I had to guess, he’d probably be on the bench again. Pogba is imperious at the moment and it’s better to just get the job done with him rather than bring him on later if United need to force the issue.
Fred (CM) – Back from international duty, Fred is likely to step in for Nemanja Matic here, who should at maximum play one full game a week nowadays.
Bruno Fernandes (AM) – United have looked far worse off when he’s not there in past fixtures, and they need to get off to a good start this campaign. That should mean Bruno starts again.
Mason Greenwood (RW) – He seems to be playing all the time of late, but Greenwood just carries such a threat. Is playing better than any of United’s wide players at present.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – 135 Champions League goals and counting. He’s not finished yet.
Jesse Lingard (LW) – Made an impact when he came on at the weekend, and his goal will be a great shot of confidence. Could replace Jadon Sancho, who is easing into United life.