Cristiano Ronaldo pictured training ahead of United v Middlesbrough

Manchester United are back in training ahead of tomorrow night’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Middlesbrough.

Some of the players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, got some time off since the last runout, the late 1-0 win over West Ham.

Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images

He was out in Dubai, along with other United players including Diogo Dalot, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.

But he has been pictured for the first time since the mini-international break training with United ahead of the clash with Chris Wilder’s side.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images
Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Ronaldo missed the 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in the previous round because of a hip injury but may be called upon to help United’s bid for a place in the fifth round.

There was also good fitness news elsewhere. Paul Pogba continued to train but Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were also back on the training pitch after recent absences.

Shaw has been injured, while Wan-Bissaka has been ill but their returns offer Ralf Rangnick a selection dilemma in the full-back areas.

Jadon Sancho also trained again after missing recent matches with a family issue, while Phil Jones was out there too after turning down a deadline day exit to join Bordeaux.

Youngster Shola Shoretire was also pictured ahead of a game where Rangnick can use five substitutes, potentially allowing more scope to blood some youth if the game is going the right way.

This is a big game for United and anything other than a good performance and result would see some of the momentum generated last month slip away.

With Ronaldo back in the side, United will pose a greater goal threat and he may be needed to lead the line with Edinson Cavani coming back from international duty and Anthony Martial now on loan to Sevilla.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.