Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made the brave move to drop his star performer today with forward Cristiano Ronaldo dropping to the bench.
Manchester United face Everton in the Premier League today with the international break looming and manager Solskjaer will be hoping for three points to help the team against their rivals in the top four.
Liverpool and Manchester City do not play until Sunday, but United will be hoping to capitalise on any lost points between the two after they, unfortunately, dropped some against Aston Villa last week.
And to achieve this Solskjaer has made some changes that may confuse some fans.
After his late minute heroics against Villarreal to secure the win for United in the Champions League, Ronaldo has been dropped to the bench for this game alongside Jadon Sancho allowing Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial to come in.
Cavani ’s introduction against Villarreal as a substitute added some much-needed energy to the team so he deserved a start today.
However, the introduction of Martial is baffling. His performances for the last season and a half have been terrible, showing a lack of energy and desire.
Many fans, myself included thought that Martial would not see a start for United again after his horrendous 90 minutes against West Ham United in the Carabao Cup completely failed to inspire any confidence in the player.
It also doesn’t bode well for winger Sancho as well, if despite his below-par performances, Martial is still being considered for a starting berth.
To drop Ronaldo for the forward in what is an important game, after the Portuguese number seven was named United player of the month for September will leave a lot of the fanbase outraged.
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You would expect that Ronaldo will see some game time today, however, with Solskjaer saying in his pre-match comments to the media; “We’ve had a chat about subs making an impact – they did last game.
“That might be the case at some point this season, and that might be today.”
Luke Shaw has also been included in the lineup today in place of Alex Telles. After suffering from illness during the week and therefore missing the game against Villarreal, the English left-back has reclaimed his place in the squad. Harry Maguire is still out with injury until after the international break so Victor Lindelof keeps his place in the side.
United last faced Everton in a preseason friendly before the start of this season and United came out 4-0 victors against the Merseyside side.
A wonderfully struck free-kick goal from Bruno Fernandes and a good header by Harry Maguire were the pick of the goals in that game and Solskjaer will be hoping for a similar result today.
We will see after the game whether these changes make the difference, but on paper, it is worrying reading for United fans.
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