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Man United: Cristiano Ronaldo can terrorise Spurs again

Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League this evening, with Erik ten Hag’s side set for a third successive outing at Old Trafford in all competitions.

The former Ajax boss will likely be hoping for an improvement on those two recent showings at the Theatre of Dreams, however, having seen his side only narrowly secure victory over Cypriot minnows, Omonia Nicosia, last Thursday, before playing out a goalless stalemate with Newcastle United just a few days later.

That latest meeting with the Magpies notably saw veteran marksman Cristiano Ronaldo endure a frustrating afternoon once again, with the Portugal international having seen two goals disallowed for offside before being withdrawn on 72 minutes.

That limp display – in which the 191-cap superstar made just 22 touches – seemingly epitomised the season as a whole thus far for the 37-year-old, as the typically clinical striker again came up short in the final third, with just one league goal to his name to date.

Even with fellow striker Anthony Martial ruled out of tonight’s meeting with Antonio Conte’s side, the former Real Madrid man is still not guaranteed a starting berth, with it a very real possibility that the iconic figure may find himself on the bench with Marcus Rashford deployed through the middle instead.

Despite Ronaldo’s current woes, however, it would seemingly be a mistake for Ten Hag to leave the “struggling” asset – as The Athletic’s Carl Anka stated regarding his ability to get shots away – out of the starting lineup, with the £515k-per-week menace having routinely delivered against Spurs over the years.

During his first spell with United as a flying-winger, the £18m-rated sensation was a constant thorn in the side of the Lilywhites, most notably scoring twice and registering an assist in that 5-2 triumph back in April 2009, prior to his subsequent exit to the Spanish capital later that year.

Would you start Ronaldo tonight?

Yes!

Yes!

No!

No!

Even while abroad at the Bernabeu the prolific machine still managed to torment the north Londoners, scoring a goal apiece in his four Champions League meetings with the club for the La Liga outfit.

Almost inevitably, the returning hero again proved Tottenham’s nemesis last season after making a stunning United homecoming from Juventus, scoring and providing an assist in the 3-0 win last October, including a stunning volley from the angle.

The ageing star then followed up that display on home soil in March with a blistering hat trick to help secure a 3-2 win – with that having been his second treble for the Red Devils – notably lashing in from range in superb fashion for the game’s opener.

While selecting a player on their past achievements is not always wise, Ronaldo’s record against today’s opponents is perhaps too good to ignore, having scored 14 times and provided five assists in 20 games meetings in total across all fronts.

It could well be an astute but bold move for Ten Hag to unleash the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, with the high-profile figure – who only recently netted his 700th club career goal in the win over Everton – likely to be relishing the prospect of facing Conte and co once again.

Article title: Man United: Cristiano Ronaldo can terrorise Spurs again

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