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 has picked for the fixture. Ronaldo was always playing.
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. Too early for him.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) – Despite the fact Diogo Dalot will be pushing for a start, United know exactly what they’re getting with AWB – a solid defender.
Victor Lindelof (CB) – Has lost his place in the United team to Raphael Varane of late, but will still play an important squad role and be needed perhaps when you don’t expect it.
Harry Maguire (CB) – The captain is almost always there, so he starts here too.
Luke Shaw (LB) – Alex Telles is still struggling with injury so Shaw continues. As seen on Saturday, he adds a lot of drive to the team nowadays and it’s noticeable when he’s not there.
Donny van de Beek (CM) – Where’s Donny?! He’s actually playing!
Fred (CM) – Back from international duty, Fred steps 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 means Bruno starts again.
Jadon Sancho (RW) – Sancho is very much used to Champions League life and it’ll be his United debut in the competition here.
Cristiano Ronaldo (ST) – 135 Champions League goals and counting. He’s not finished yet.
Paul Pogba (LW) – Has been sat in midfield of late following the arrivals of Sancho and Ronaldo, but he does a lot of good work from the left hand side when United need that bit of genius in the final third.