Cristiano Ronaldo absent from Man Utd squad ahead of Manchester derby with Man City

Ralf Rangnick has assembled his Manchester United squad in preparation for Sunday’s Manchester derby with City, but Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani were both absent

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Rangnick on next permanent manager

Manchester United could be without Cristiano Ronaldo for Sunday’s derby with Manchester City, with the forward seemingly not a part of Ralf Rangnick’s assembled squad.

United’s top scorer, with 15 goals in all competitions, has missed just one game through injury since returning to the club at the end of the summer window.

But since the turn of the year, the 37-year-old has begun to show that time could be catching up with him, having scored just one goal in his last ten appearances.

He played 90 minutes against Watford last time out, but was not with the usual 21-man squad as they met at the Lowry Hotel on Saturday night.

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Cristiano Ronaldo is now a doubt for the game against Man City



Edinson Cavani was also not part of the group, despite Ralf Rangnick assuring supporters that he should be involved, having missed the last five games through injury.

The German boss did state however, that there were some question marks hanging over players in the build-up, although he didn’t go into details about which individuals they surrounded.

“He [Cavani] is back in training since yesterday,” he explained on Friday. “Today was his second training session with the team. It looks good so I think he could at least be part of the group for Sunday.

“Apart from that we have one or two question marks and we’ll have to wait and see what happens tomorrow or on Sunday.

“But Edinson I think as it stands now will be part of the group.”

Should Ronaldo and Cavani miss the game with Premier League leaders City, Marcus Rashford could be the man to lead the line, fresh off the back of a major vote of confidence from his manager.

“Now with Edinson at least being available for the upcoming games, we have other options [up front],” said Rangnick.

Marcus Rashford could lead the line against City, if Cavani and Ronaldo are missing


Eamonn and James Clarke)

“With Marcus Rashford, we have another player [who I have] continuously been behind and [will work] with, to develop him.

“We have seen that with other players in the past and I don’t see why this shouldn’t happen with Marcus. He’s got abundant talent, he’s got the pace, the physicality. He’s got everything you need for a modern striker, not only if he is playing from the wing or in the centre.

“I will put all my energy in that to help him to take the same pathway that other players did in the last three months.”

Despite falling well behind their local rivals in recent seasons, United boast an impressive record against Pep Guardiola’s side, having done the double over them the last season.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani were not a part of the Man Utd squad which reported to The Lowry Hotel on Saturday


Eamonn and James Clarke)

And Rangnick believes there is a blueprint for success against a team on course to win their fourth title in five seasons.

He added: “We have to be as compact as we can be, we have to play as much as a team as we can.

“It will be challenging for us, we will have moments in the game where we will have to chase the ball, not have the ball for one or two minutes but this shouldn’t happen all the time and this is what it’s all about.

Harry Maguire could return to the lineup, after missing out against Watford


Eamonn and James Clarke)

“All the teams that managed to do that like Arsenal, like Southampton, also at times like Tottenham, they had their moments [against City]. Even Brighton had their moments even though in the end it was a 1-4 defeat at home.

“It’s about being on the front foot, being courageous, also creating moments where we can put them under pressure and this is what the game will be all about.”

Confirmed United squad members: De Gea, Henderson, Heaton, Dalot, Wan-Bissaka, Jones, Maguire, Bailly, Lindelof, Telles, Matic, McTominay, Fred, Pogba, Mejbri, Lingard, Mata, Fernandes, Sancho, Elanga, Rashford

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