Date: 1st October 2021 at 3:34pm
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Just as he did so many times during his first spell with the club, Cristiano Ronaldo came to the rescue for Manchester United on Wednesday evening, as the Portuguese netted a 95th minute winner to secure victory over Villarreal.

The dramatic late winner left United’s Spanish opponents feeling hard done by, as the Europa League holders had played well and dominated the game for large spells.

Ronaldo’s late winner, however, his fifth in five games since returning to United, gave the Red Devils a much needed victory.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had come under criticism in recent weeks, with his side having lost to West Ham United, Aston Villa and Young Boys in the last month.

Victory in such dramatic fashion gives United momentum, however, and fans will now be looking forward to United hosting Everton on Saturday afternoon.

Below is the XI that we think Solskjaer will select for the visit of the Toffees:

Goalkeeper

Manchester United have arguably the most talented crop of goalkeepers in the Premier League at present, with both Dean Henderson and David de Gea at Solskjaer’s disposal. The Spaniard has played every minute this season, with the exception of the Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham, and will expect to start once again on Saturday. Having struggled last season and been replaced as first choice by Henderson, the ‘keeper looks to be back to his best.

Defence

Solskjaer had to pick Victor Lindelof to start against Villarreal in the absence of Harry Maguire, and the Swede will likely partner Raphael Varane once again as the England international remains short of full fitness. Varane has had a notable impact on the team’s defensive line since joining from Real Madrid in the summer, and his partnership with Lindelof could be crucial in the coming weeks as Maguire faces ‘a few weeks’ out of action.

Varane will be relied upon to lead from the back in Maguire’s absence

On the right, Diogo Dalot will likely revert back to the bench after a nightmare first-half at Old Trafford on Wednesday. The Portuguese defender struggled to cope with the attacking intensity of the La Liga side, with Arnaut Danjuma proving to be a particular handful. Aaron Wan-Bissaka will therefore return to the line up after serving the first of his two-game European suspension after being sent off against Young Boys.

On the left, Luke Shaw will hope to return to the starting XI having sat out the victory in midweek. Alex Telles, who deputised for the Englishman and scored a brilliant equaliser, may have to settle for a place on the bench once again.

Midfield

Solskjaer has tinkered with his midfield on more than one occasion this term, but the Norwegian could once again go with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay in the centre of the park. The Frenchman has been in scintillating form this season and has already registered seven assists in the Premier League, while the Scot has looked sharp when preferred to Fred and Nemanja Matic and will be hopeful of another start at the base of midfield.

Ahead of the duo, Bruno Fernandes will start and be hoping to get on the scoresheet for the first time since his opening day hat-trick against Leeds United. The talisman of last season has still impressed despite the arrival of a certain international teammate of his, and will be keen to make up for his penalty miss in the defeat against Villa a week ago.

Forwards

Up front, Cristiano Ronaldo is a certainty on the team sheet, having proved his worth with the dramatic midweek winner against Villarreal. The Portuguese scored twice on his return to Old Trafford against Newcastle United, and will be hoping to add to that tally against an Everton side that have kept just two league clean sheets so far this season.

Anthony Martial has been in poor form this year and will be lucky to get a cameo from the bench, while Edinson Cavani may be a useful option late on.

On the right of him, Mason Greenwood will expect to start having impressed in the early weeks of the season. The Englishman hasn’t scored since the victory over Wolves at the end of August, but still looks a threat.

Greenwood has three league goals this season

On the other side, Jadon Sancho will likely be given another chance to impress. The England international is yet to score a goal or even provide an assist for Solskjaer’s side, but it seems a case of when, rather than if, given his record at previous club Borussia Dortmund. Marcus Rashford remains sidelined through injury.

With Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea all above United in the table and Everton threatening to leapfrog them with victory, United will be desperate to get back to winning ways in the league.

 
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