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Cristiano Ronaldo misses out as Ralf Rangnick sends clear Harry Maguire message

Aston Villa vs Man United starting XI confirmed, Ronaldo absent from squad
Cristiano Ronaldo misses out as Ralf Rangnick sends clear Harry Maguire message

Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford were not named in the matchday squad as Manchester United took on Aston Villa in the Premier League with Ralf Rangnick making three changes

Cristiano Ronaldo played no part in Manchester United ‘s Premier League clash against Aston Villa as he continues to recover from a hip flexor issue.

Ralf Rangnick hopes the Portuguese superstar will be available to face Brentford on Wednesday after he struggled during training on Friday.

The interim manager made three changes from the starting XI which narrowly defeated Steven Gerrard’s side 1-0 in the FA Cup third round on Monday for Saturday’s evening kick-off.

Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw missed out due to suspension for five yellow cards, so Nemanja Matic partnered Fred in central midfield and Alex Telles came in at left-back.

Marcus Rashford also dropped out of the matchday squad with a dead leg sustained during a challenging week throughout which the out-of-sorts England forward was been in the spotlight, with Anthony Elanga handed a rare start up front.

Elsewhere, Harry Maguire was named on the bench after a spell on the sidelines due to a chest complaint.

How big a miss is Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United? Have your say in the comments…Cristiano Ronaldo suffered a fresh knock during training on FridayCristiano Ronaldo suffered a fresh knock during training on Friday

The club captain may have hoped to immediately return to the starting XI, but he does not appear to be a guaranteed a spot at centre-back.

Instead, Rangnick persisted with the duo of Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane which clung on to a clean sheet against Villa five days earlier.

Diogo Dalot kept his spot at right-back and Edinson Cavani led the line in attack supported by Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Elanga in Rashford’s absence.

“Marcus had, how you call it, a dead leg in training the day before yesterday and it got worse overnight,” Rangnick told Sky Sports.

“And again he couldn’t train yesterday. I spoke with him before the training session and we were waiting until the evening to see if the treatment makes it any better but it didn’t, so again we decided not to take him with us.”

Turning his attention to Ronaldo, the German added: “Yesterday before training he still had problems with his hip flexor and we then decided not to train him.

“Then after training I had another conversation with him and we then decided that it doesn’t make sense, if he is still having problems with his hip flexor, to take him on the journey here and then hopefully he can play on Wednesday.”Marcus Rashford sustained a dead leg during training on ThursdayMarcus Rashford sustained a dead leg during training on Thursday

Rangnick also confirmed Maguire is fully fit but explained why he stuck with Lindelof and Varane at centre-back, saying: “He was out for two weeks.

“Now he doesn’t have any problems anymore, but he had problems for two weeks and I then decided to keep the two centre-backs who played in the cup game in the team.

“We have the next couple of games coming up on Wednesday and next Saturday, and today I decided to play with the same centre-backs that we played in the cup.”

Aston Villa XI: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, Sanson, Douglas Luiz, Ramsey, Watkins, Ings, Buendia.

Manchester United XI: De Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles, Fred, Matic, Greenwood, Fernandes, Elanga, Cavani.

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Dominic Nwodo

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