Ronaldo injury absence for Man Utd in derby clash ‘not a big loss’ rants Neville

MANCHESTER UNITED missing Cristiano Ronaldo through injury for this afternoon’s crunch derby is ‘not a big loss’, according to Gary Neville.

Ronaldo was a no-show for the team meet on Saturday night, with United stars left stunned at his decision not to join up with the squad.


Neville reckons Ronaldo’s absence could actually suit Man Utd when playing rivals CityCredit: AFP

His absence, combined with Edinson Cavani’s injury woes, means Marcus Rashford is set to lead the line at the Etihad.

But Neville reckons that could play right into United’s hands when it comes to their counter attacking playing style.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville said: “United over the last three or four years, particularly under Ole [Gunner Solskjaer] were a counter attack team.

“[They were] really comfortable sitting back, punching out through [Marcus] Rashford and others on the break.”

“And I think that will be exactly the same today, and actually Cristiano not being in the team, I could never say it’s a positive, but actually I don’t see it as the big loss that I might do in other games.

“Because I actually think on the counter attack Manchester United need to be dangerous today, and they’re better off with Rashford up front counter attacking than they would be with Cristiano I think.”


Neville’s comments come despite Ronaldo comfortably being United’s top scorer this season.

He’s found the back of the net 15 times in all competitions, six times more than next highest scorer Bruno Fernandes.

Nevertheless Neville reckoned the ageing Ronaldo doesn’t really suit the counter attacking tactic needed when facing Pep Guardiola’s City.

How Man Utd could start the derby clash without Ronaldo


How Man Utd could start the derby clash without Ronaldo

Ronaldo was pictured in full training on Wednesday but picked up a knock late in the week that has ruled him out of the mammoth derby clash.

He then chose not to travel to the plush Lowry Hotel for United’s pre-match meet, a decision that left his fellow team-mates stunned.

SunSport understands United stars were shocked when Ronaldo failed to join the squad for their one-night hotel stay.

Members of the dressing room believed a player as senior as Ronaldo should have joined them for support ahead of such a massive game, regardless of whether he is injured for the fixture.

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