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Cristiano Ronaldo Absent in Man Utd vs Man City

Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani were among two of four major absentees as the Man United squad assembled before the Manchester derby with City.

Cristiano Ronaldo was not with the Manchester United squad that assembled ahead of the derby at City on Sunday.

United manager Ralf Rangnick assembled the usual 21-man squad at The Lowry Hotel but Ronaldo was not present with his teammates.

Edinson Cavani was also absent despite Rangnick indicating he would be available for the game at the Etihad. Cavani has missed the last five games with a groin problem.

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Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw were also not accounted for when the squad arrived at their pre-match base on Saturday evening. Eric Bailly has been recalled to the Premier League matchday squad for the first time in two months.

Ronaldo’s apparent absence is bound to dominate the build-up to the confirmed team news at 3.30 pm on Sunday, with kick-off at 4.30 pm. Rangnick will be asked about his selection in his pre-match interviews with the rights holders.

Marcus Rashford could spearhead United’s attack in the absence of Ronaldo even though he has scored five goals this season. Ronaldo is United’s highest scorer with 15 goals.

On Friday, Rangnick suggested the brittle Cavani and Rashford could ease the burden on Ronaldo, who has scored once in his last ten appearances: “A few things that have happened in last few weeks couldn’t have been foreseen by anybody.

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“With Edinson available for the game, and the upcoming games, we have other options. With Marcus Rashford we have another player who I will insist on and continuously be behind him, to develop him.

We have achieved that with quite a few young players in the past, and I don’t see why this can’t happen with Marcus.

“He has got abundant talent, he has got pace, physicality, everything you need as a modern striker, no matter if he is playing from the wing or the center. I will put all my energy into making sure he takes the same pathway as other players in recent months.”

On Cavani, Rangnick said: “Yeah, he has been back in training since yesterday. Today was his second session. He looks good, so I think he could at least be part of the group for Sunday.

“There are two or three question marks behind some players we will have to wait and see what happens. Edinson as it stands now will be part of the group.”

Confirmed squad members

De Gea, Henderson, Heaton

Dalot, Wan-Bissaka, Jones, Maguire, Bailly, Lindelof, Telles

Matic, McTominay, Fred, Pogba, Mejbri, Lingard, Mata, Fernandes

Sancho, Elanga, Rashford

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