Manchester United are back in action following the international break, and there is one thing on everybody’s minds…
The United legend is set to make his return to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon when his side face Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United at the Theatre of Dreams.
Whether he starts or not will remain to be seen, but the atmosphere at Old Trafford is guaranteed to be electric; the fans will be at a fever pitch, and the party will begin hours before kick-off.
All United fans will, of course, be intoxicated with CR7 fever, but will also need a subtle reminder that Newcastle will not turn up, roll over, and let the homecoming be the dream everyone wants it to be.
How do Manchester United look?
The obvious talking point from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s press conference was the role that Ronaldo would play in his return, with the boss saying “He’s played for the national team, he’s had a good week with us here. He’ll definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure”, keeping us all on our toes, in anticipation for the 2pm team news on Saturday.Embed from Getty Images
There has been lots of talk over where Ronaldo will play for United this season, and who he will line-up alongside.
He has adapted his game since leaving United in 2009, and is now an out-and-out number 9, who can, and will, score an abundance of goals.
Mason Greenwood has taken up the centre forward role so far this season, and his form has made him almost undroppable, so if Ronny is to start on Saturday, expect Greenwood to start on the right-hand side.
Summer signing Jadon Sancho is yet to hit the heights of his Borussia Dortmund career, but will soon come good, and Marcus Rashford’s injury means he can expect to start on the left wing for the upcoming matches.
Other options include Edinson Cavani, who could play up front with Ronaldo in a two-striker formation or could shift the Portuguese to the left.Embed from Getty Images
Paul Pogba is also an option on the left-hand side but is better utilised in the midfield.
In other news, Scott McTominay is expected to miss the match, although he has recovered remarkably well from his recent surgery and is it unknown whether FIFA will allow Fred to play, after his national team complained about him being held back from the recent international fixtures.
Daniel James, who signed for Leeds United on deadline day will, obviously, no longer be available for Solskjaer.
Opposition: Newcastle United
Steve Bruce’s men, who will look to spoil the party on Saturday, have looked poor so far this season, picking up just one point from a possible nine.Embed from Getty Images
Striker Callum Wilson is out with a thigh injury, so their only real threat will be the direct Alan Saint-Maximin.
The Frenchman can cause United issues on the counterattack, using his pace, power, and skill to take on defenders and drive into the box, meaning The Reds’ back four, and holding midfielder, must be prepared to drop off him and not dive in, whilst also knowing when to make the right tackle, otherwise, he could cause them a world of issues.
Defensively, however, United can exploit The Magpies.
The passing abilities of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba should be more than enough to overwhelm the Newcastle defence, and the clinical Greenwood and Ronaldo will make them pay.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored one hattrick for Manchester United. It came against Newcastle United.
He would love nothing more than to score another trio of goals in front of the Stretford End, run to the corner and shout “SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIUUUUUU” in unison with 76,000 people at Old Trafford, and millions around the world.
It isn’t every day that the greatest player of all time returns to your football club, so enjoy it reds, take it in, and sing VIVA RONALDO all night long.
Manchester United 3-0 Newcastle United. All three goals coming from the GOAT.