Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo is missing Manchester United’s FA Cup clash against Aston Villa due to a ‘minor muscle problem’.

The 36-year-old’s absence is one of five changes the German coach has made to the starting line-up that lost 1-0 against Wolves a week ago.

Speaking about Ronaldo, Rangnick said: “I spoke to Cristiano yesterday before training and he said he’d had some problems for the last couple of days, some minor problems and in the end we decided it would make more sense not to take any risks in a cup game that could last 120 minutes.”

Rangnick explained that he expected the club’s number seven to be watching the game inside the stadium.

Manchester United Training Session
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Rangnick added: “I suppose he will be in the stadium but he had some problems with his hip muscle and we just decided that it would be better for him not to play this game. I don’t think it’s anything serious”

 

Phil Jones is missing due to a calf problem and Jadon Sancho has tightness in his hamstrings according to the 63-year-old.

Diogo Dalot comes back into the side as Aaron Wan-Bissaka drops to the bench and Victor Lindelof returns for the first time after coming off against Norwich in December with breathing difficulties, and then testing positive for Covid-19.

There are also recalls for Fred, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes who will captain the side tonight.

Manchester United v Aston Villa: The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

In Ronaldo’s absence, Edinson Cavani is leading the line. Harry Maguire is also not in the squad and wantaway striker Anthony Martial continues to be omitted from the matchday squads.

Dean Henderson is also missing from the squad as he pushes for a loan move this month and Donny van de Beek once again has to settle for a place on the bench.

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