Cristiano Ronaldo is set to start today (31) for Manchester United in a preseason friendly match against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford, but manager Erik ten Hag isn’t expecting anything spectacular, insisting that the want away forward needs time to train and lots of games if he’s to get back to being his best.
Don’t forget that you can watch live streaming coverage of the game on MUTV and MUTV Online
Despite being in the squad for Sunday’s game, Ronaldo still wants to leave Manchester United as he continues to search for a new home in order to play in the Champions League and compete for major trophies. The club, however, doesn’t want him to leave Old Trafford.
“Tomorrow he will be in the squad,” Ten Hag told Viaplay after his side’s loss to Atletico Madrid on Saturday. “We’ll see how long he can play.
“I cannot tell in this moment (how fit he is). He is not on the level of the rest of the squad because he missed a lot of weeks. But he needs games and he needs training, a lot.”
Meanwhile, Ten Hag also explained how he will select his team for the game against Rayo Vallecano, hinting that he will be making predicted changes after playing on Saturday in Oslo.
“The players who played today from the start, they will not come on tomorrow (Sunday),” he said. “So tomorrow (Sunday) we will have a different starting XI. But there are players who came on who can start.”
Players such as midfielders Donny van de Beek and Facundo Pellistri were among those who got minutes off the bench against Atletico Madrid, while summer signing Lisandro Martinez – who did not feature at all – now looks set to make his Manchester United debut on Sunday.
We can also expect to see Christian Eriksen in the starting team for Manchester United on Sunday after he came on as a substitute to make his debut and impressed in his limited minutes on Saturday
Ten Hag is looking forward to coaching at Old Trafford for the first time since joining the English Premier League giants in the summer.
“I think [it will be special],” he said. “After, I can tell you the feeling, but it would be great. I heard it was sold out, so it is fantastic.
“We have to prepare for this game now. We have to travel back soon to get well prepared for the start tomorrow against Rayo Vallecano.”