Rangnick offers fitness update on Ronaldo and three other United players

Ralf Rangnick has conducted his press conference ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Villa Park to face Aston Villa tomorrow evening.

Rangnick faced reporters at 1pm and the briefing was streamed live on United’s official app. He was asked about the players who missed Monday night’s 1-0 win over the same opponents, including Cristiano Ronaldo.

The German had good news, and said he expects Ronaldo, as well as captain Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Phil Jones to be fit for the trip to Villa Park.

Ronaldo offered an injury update earlier in the week, and all the signs are that he will be back fit for the clash with Steven Gerrard’s side.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

“I think they [Cristiano Ronaldo, Sancho, Maguire & Jones] will be available,” said Rangnick.

“They only trained yesterday for the first time – Cristiano yesterday, Harry I think the day before. As it seems right now they should be available for tomorrow.

“We have to wait for the final training session this afternoon, but they should be okay.”

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

United’s team performance was unconvincing against Villa in the FA Cup and improvement is needed if morale and confidence is to increase after this game.

Ronaldo should help with that, although the conundrum for Rangnick is balancing the Portuguese superstar with Edinson Cavani and the other fowards United have.

Marcus Rashford has come under fire after his Monday night performance and Rangnick’s increased options may allow him to take the England international out of the side at Villa.

Ronaldo’s return should help, but there will also be onus on Maguire if he does return to improve his form after a tricky start to the season.

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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.