EPL

Ronaldo benched as Man Utd visit Chelsea

By Sports Desk November 28, 2021

Michael Carrick has benched Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United's clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Ronaldo scored United's opener in the 2-0 win over Villarreal on Tuesday but has made way for the match against the Premier League leaders.

In all competitions, Ronaldo has scored just one goal in 15 appearances against Chelsea, doing so in the 2008 Champions League final. The Blues are the side he has faced the most without scoring in top-flight football (10 games).

Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, who scored his first goal for the club on Tuesday, have instead been selected up top, with Bruno Fernandes seemingly spearheading a midfield diamond for United, whose 4-1 defeat at Watford last week signalled the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's time as manager.

Ralf Rangnick is expected to be announced as the club's interim manager soon, but Carrick was always set to take charge on Sunday. 

Behind the front three, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred were named in midfield, with Eric Bailly replacing the suspended Harry Maguire in defence and Alex Telles playing at left-back. Mason Greenwood was back on the bench after missing the defeat to Watford due to contracting COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel was able to welcome back Timo Werner into his starting XI, with Romelu Lukaku – who has only scored in one match against United in his career, back in 2013 – was also available after his injury lay-off, though only deemed fit enough for the bench.

League leaders Chelsea have conceded just four goals in their 12 Premier League games this season. Only the Blues themselves (three in 2004-05) have shipped fewer at this stage of an English top-flight campaign, though N'Golo Kante was not available after suffering an injury in the midweek win over Juventus.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was chosen to partner Jorginho in midfield, with Marcos Alonso replacing the injured Ben Chilwell. 

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    Keys – 8/24

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    Keys – 1/1

    BREAK POINTS WON
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    ROUND-UP

    - Goal claims that Barcelona are working on a plan to raise €100million (£83m) in funds to lure Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland to the Catalan club. The Blaugrana are determined to win the race to sign Haaland despite interest from wealthy giants Real MadridManchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

    - Bayern Munich's 32-year-old forward Thomas Muller has drawn interest from Newcastle United and Everton as he approaches the final year of his contract, claims Sport Bild.

    - L'Equipe claims that Bruno Guimaraes had told Lyon he wants to join Newcastle after the Magpies tabled a bid.

    - The Sun reports that Manchester United have put their search for a new manager on hold as they consider whether to make Ralf Rangnick's stay permanent.

    - Staying at United, numerous reports in England suggest Jesse Lingard is angry with the club as their demands have put off Newcastle's attempt to sign the player on loan.

    - Ousmane Dembele wants to stay at Barcelona after all, according to Sport. The France international's representatives met with Barca boss Xavi this week.

    - Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele is set to join Valencia on loan, reports Telefoot.

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