Manchester United will face Aston Villa for the second time this week after beating them at Old Trafford in the FA Cup last Monday.
This evening they travel to Villa Park in the Premier League, and Red Devils interim manager Ralf Rangnick has taken to his pre-match press conference to reveal a huge injury boost ahead of kick-off, with four regular starters returning to the squad after injury problems.
The German confirmed the availability of Jadon Sancho, Harry Maguire, Cristiano Ronaldo and Phil Jones after they all missed the FA Cup game on Monday night.
He revealed on Friday: “I think they will be available, they only trained yesterday for the first time, Cristiano yesterday, Harry the day before yesterday. We have to wait for the final session this afternoon but as it seems right now, they should be available for tomorrow.”
It’s no secret that Ronaldo in particular is a fan favourite, so his presence back in the starting line-up will surely leave supporters buzzing after the manager’s admission on Friday. He is also their leading scorer this season by some distance, so his return could be decisive.
Jones had an impressive game against Wolves 12 days ago, while Maguire’s 2.6 headers won per match makes him the squad’s biggest aerial threat. While Sancho’s output has been minimal in terms of goals and assists, his return nonetheless offers United another option in attack.
Rangnick has only lost one game since he was appointed as interim manager in late November, but with their last Premier League match ending in a 1-0 defeat to Wolves at Old Trafford, the 63-year-old will surely be hoping to continue the winning momentum after Monday night’s cup win over Steven Gerrard’s side.
United are chasing down a top four spot but are currently seventh in the Premier League after an inconsistent start to the season which has seen them pick up only nine wins, four draws and six losses so far. However, being away from home doesn’t seem to faze them, as four of their nine top-flight victories have been earned on the road.
Their chances of making that five out of 10 would appear to have been greatly boosted by the availability of Maguire, Jones, Sancho and especially Ronaldo, and Rangnick will no doubt be delighted to have such an abundance of options to call upon at either end of the pitch this evening.