Cristiano Ronaldo could start for Man United against Brentford with Anthony Martial still out as Erik ten Hag says ‘we learned a lot’ from Brighton loss


Erik Ten Hag has teased that Cristiano Ronaldo is in contention to start for Manchester United against Brentford on Saturday.

Number nine Anthony Martial is still injured, while Victor Lindelof has also been ruled out of the clash, with United looking to recover from a disastrous 2-1 home defeat to Brighton with inspiration from Ronaldo.

Ronaldo’s hard work in training earned him a chance to start
Getty

The Portuguese superstar came on in the 53rd minute against Brighton and looked like United’s most dangerous player, providing a golden chance for Marcus Rashford.

However, his return to the fold has not always been smooth in a turbulent summer in which a move from Old Trafford seemed possible just a year after his return.

Several reports have claimed the 37-year-old is keen to switch to Champions League football, and his agent Jorge Mendes has held talks with Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

None of those talks came to fruition though, with Ronaldo returning from his absence to feature in the opener.

And he can now get an increased role at Brentford, as revealed by Ten Hag.

“So he had a good week of training,” the Dutchman said in his pre-match press conference on Friday. “I thought he played a little over half an hour.

Cristiano Ronaldo could start for Man United against Brentford with Anthony Martial still out as Erik ten Hag says 'we learned a lot' from Brighton loss
Ten Hag had work to do after Brighton defeat
AFP


“He had two half-games and for the starting XI, we will see tomorrow. My decision [on starting Ronaldo]I am keeping it.”

In Ronaldo’s absence during pre-season, Martial started in the striker spot for Ten Hag and was arguably their best player, scoring three goals.

But a knee injury ruled him out of the Brighton game, and now Brentford.

“Martial won’t be available and Lindelof too, not for this weekend,” Ten Hag said.

Cristiano Ronaldo could start for Man United against Brentford with Anthony Martial still out as Erik ten Hag says 'we learned a lot' from Brighton loss
Ronaldo can’t wait to leave
Getty

The new manager was also asked how he prepared for Brentford after a tough opening defeat.

He said: “What I always do after every game: I analyze the game, what went well, what went wrong, where can we improve, what do we need to improve, how we can practice and we tell the players and show them how to improve to get solutions.

“We learned a lot but I think it’s normal when you start the season, that part is the same, the team comes together, the way we play, a fresh start and you make mistakes. Football is a game of mistakes. We know we have to improve in a lot of things, that’s clear.

“I know there is always pressure. I have the experience, how it is, I know we have to win every game, I know the fans, I know everyone expects Manchester United to win every game, we have to deal with that and everything what I can do is prepare the team as well as possible this weekend.

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