Manchester United fans want Cristiano Ronaldo to start this afternoon’s match against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford.
Despite rising rumors about his future, Ronaldo remains a United player as Erik ten Hag and his players prepare to wrap up pre-season training. Ronaldo skipped the club’s summer tour, but has returned to Carrington and is expected to play against Spanish opponents, along with promising young players and fringe players.
United was defeated 1-0 by Atletico Madrid in Oslo on Saturday, and Ten Hag will make 11 changes for this match. Here is the starting lineup that Manchester Evening News readers would like to see.
Tom Heaton is the goalkeeper.
United is still looking for a backup goalkeeper to replace Dean Henderson, who is on loan. When that happens, Tom Heaton’s opportunities may be limited, thus this is a great opportunity for him.
After seeing Christian Eriksen make his first debut for United on Saturday, Lisandro Martinez may have a similar opportunity against Rayo Vallecano. After missing the trip to Norway, Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw are expected to start, while transfer-listed Aaron Wan-Bissaka could possibly play.
Christian Eriksen, James Garner, and Zidane Iqbal are the midfielders.
Eriksen impressed United fans after his 20-minute cameo in Oslo, and the Dane is likely to play more minutes here, but will he do so right away? If so, he would bring valuable experience to a midfield three that includes academy graduates James Garner and Zidane Iqbal, both of whom impressed on tour.
Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Alejandro Garnacho are the forwards.
Ronaldo was always going to take center stage upon his return to Carrington, and his future remains uncertain. If he stays, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will require minutes. Jadon Sancho was taken unwell before the Atletico game and, if fit and well, may flank Ronaldo alongside Alejandro Garnacho.