Manchester United travel to Villa Park for Saturday’s late Premier League kick-off against Aston Villa.
The Red Devils recently returned to winning ways with a 1-0 FA Cup third-round victory over Villa at Old Trafford.
Scott McTominay bagged an early opener for the club, but the overall performance was far from impressive.
Interim boss Ralf Rangnick will be hoping for a better showing as the Red Devils look to keep up in the top-four race.
Rangnick recently reverted to the traditional 4-2-3-1 set-up after a string of poor displays in the 4-2-2-2 system.
There was not much improvement, but the return of Cristiano Ronaldo from a minor injury should be a big boost for the game.
However, United will have to cope without Luke Shaw and McTominay, who will be serving one-game suspensions.
Paul Pogba remains sidelined with a thigh problem while Eric Bailly is away on international duty with the Ivory Coast.
David de Gea has been outstanding between the sticks for United, and he made a couple of crucial saves on Monday to deny the Villans.
The Spaniard can anticipate another busy game in goal, judging by United’s vulnerability at the back this term.
Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bisssaka have both got chances at right-back this term, but neither have cemented their spot.
The former started in the FA Cup third-round tie but could be replaced by Wan-Bissaka for the Midlands trip.
Harry Maguire was unavailable for the Cup game with a calf concern, and he could make the bench at best if fit.
We fancy Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane to continue at the heart of the defence over Maguire, who has had an average season thus far.
It should be a straightforward decision at left-back with Shaw unavailable. Alex Telles is the only specialist option present to replace the Englishman.
The 29-year-old looks set to make his first United appearance since the turn of the year.
McTominay has impressed with his creativity in the last three games, bagging two goals and creating another for Ronaldo.
He will be a big miss, but United have a quality replacement on the bench in the form of Donny van de Beek.
Van de Beek has hardly played despite the change of manager, but Rangnick recently admitted that United controlled the game better on Monday after the Dutchman’s introduction.
He could have the license to push forward with Fred acting as the defensive midfielder.
Bruno Fernandes should be an assured starter in the number 10 position, but there could be changes elsewhere.
Marcus Rashford had a poor showing against Villa, where he looked out of sorts in the final third with his decision-making.
He could drop to the bench with Jadon Sancho starting on the left flank. Mason Greenwood was also disappointing against Villa, but he created chances for himself.
Unfortunately, all of his shots on goal were directed straight at the goalkeeper.
The club graduate may continue on the right wing once again. Ronaldo appears set to replace Edinson Cavani up front.
The Uruguayan bagged a vital equaliser against Newcastle United at the end of December but has barely made an impact since.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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