Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes has become the joint-fourth quickest Premier League player to reach 50 goal involvements after achieving the feat in 58 appearances.

Fernandes reached the milestone towards the end of the first half of United's meeting with Everton, turning before feeding Anthony Martial into the left side of the box for the Frenchman to convert.

Only three players have reached the 50 involvements mark quicker than Fernandes.

Former Red Devil Andy Cole leads the way after recording the half-century in 43 games. Alan Shearer and Eric Cantona both reached the landmark in 54 matches, while Fernandes slots in alongside Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, who also took 58 matches.

The 27-year-old's half-century in the competition breaks down into 30 goals and 20 assists, with no player appearing more times for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since his debut in February 2020.

Indeed, 13 of those goals have come from the penalty spot, ranking him top of the Premier League for spot-kicks in the same time period, with Jamie Vardy and Jorginho next with nine.

The signing of the former Sporting CP playmaker has revolutionised Solskjaer's side, who finished second behind Manchester City last season.

Before Fernandes' move, United won 22 (47.8 per cent) and lost 13 of 46 league games under the Norwegian, which changed to 33 wins in 57 games (57.9 per cent) after his introduction at Old Trafford.

Last term, the Portugal midfielder led the English top flight for chances created with 95, while no player created more than his 20 big chances (a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score, according to Opta), perhaps explaining United's improved conversion rate with Fernandes in the team.

On five occasions, Fernandes has been directly involved in three goals in a single game, including twice against rivals Leeds United.

Cristiano Ronaldo will have to wait for his 200th Premier League appearance after being named on Manchester United's bench for Everton's visit on Saturday, with Edinson Cavani making his first start of the season.

Cavani has had to be patient at the start of 2021-22, with the experienced Uruguayan absent for much of the first six weeks of the season.

His pre-season was delayed by his Copa America duties and subsequent extended holiday, while he has also missed games due to injury.

Cavani appeared as a substitute in last weekend's defeat to Aston Villa and Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League win over Villarreal, taking his appearances tally to three for the season.

But he looked sharp against the Yellow Submarine, with his trademark tirelessness key to winning the ball back in the build-up to Ronaldo's dramatic late winner, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rewarded him.

For Ronaldo, this will be the first time since returning to United that he has had to contend with a spot on the bench in the Premier League, having previous started three games and scored as many goals.

Should he appear as a substitute, the 36-year-old will clock up a landmark double century of outings in the Premier League.  

Ronaldo first appeared in England's top flight in 2003 after joining United from Sporting CP as a teenager, with this first spell at Old Trafford seeing him establish himself among the world's best.

He returned to United in August after 12 years at Real Madrid and Juventus, and he has hit the ground running for Solskjaer's men.

While United themselves have been rather erratic, winning three and losing three of their six games since Ronaldo returned, the Portugal great has proven a typically reliable source of goals.

He has scored five times already, including that late winner against Villarreal.

His goalscoring form has helped Ronaldo overtake Solskjaer in the standings for most goals scored at the club as of their first 200 Premier League matches.

Ronaldo is on 87 heading into the Everton game, with Solskjaer having scored 84 in his first 200 league games for United.

But it will take something special if Ronaldo is to be top of the pile in that respect after the Everton game given Rooney holds the record with 93 goals. No other play managed more than 47 (Paul Scholes).

Joining Ronaldo on the bench are Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho, the latter of whom has endured a difficult start to life at United.

Paul Pogba has been the subject of constant speculation over the past 12 months.

Manchester United's French midfielder is into the final year of his contract.

Pogba has been in excellent early season form, with seven assists in the league already.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID MOVE LOOMS FOR POGBA

Real Madrid are Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba's most likely destination at the end of this season, claims El Nacional.

The France international is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of this season and could leave on a free transfer.

Pogba's agent Mino Raiola is trying to persuade Pogba to join Madrid, despite interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool target Karim Adeyemi is being chased by German pair Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg, reports Sport Bild. RB Leipzig are also monitoring the 19-year-old Salzburg striker.

Marco Asensio appears destined to leave Madrid given his current role, with Sevilla hoping to sign the midfielder, according to El Gol Digital.

– Fichajes reports that Milan are plotting a January move for out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek.

– The Sun claims that Tottenham have revived their interest in West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone as they seek a successor to Hugo Lloris.

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho wants to reunite with Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele by signing him, reports Calciomercato.

– Marca claims that Manchester City are considering tabling an offer to sign Villareal forward Pau Torres .

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has dismissed Gareth Southgate's assessment of Jadon Sancho's form for Manchester United, insisting the winger was "electric" against Villarreal as he continues to settle in at Old Trafford.

Sancho has yet to either score a goal or provide an assist since his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund, with his arrival somewhat overshadowed by the stunning return of Cristiano Ronaldo to the club.

The 21-year-old’s sedate start to life with United has not cost him his place in the England squad, though national boss Southgate admitted his form perhaps did not warrant selection for the upcoming fixtures against Andorra and Hungary.

"Does he deserve to be in on these performances over the last few weeks? Well, probably not," Southgate said on Thursday, though he did make clear England believe the player can reach a "high level".

Solskjaer, however, pointed to Sancho’s performance in the 2-1 Champions League win on Wednesday as an example of what he can produce, both for club and country.

"Was that interview done before Wednesday night?" Solskjaer said when Southgate's comments were raised during a media conference ahead of United’s home game against Everton in the Premier League.

"Jadon was exceptional, he was electric. The crowd loved him and I think he felt that connection.

"He was direct, positive, he went past the full-back numerous times. Yes, he's not scored yet, but I thought, 'that's Jadon and we're going to see lots of that'."

Sancho has created five chances in open play in his outings so far, while his dribble success rate in those appearances stands at 28.57 per cent.

He played 75 minutes against Villarreal, completing 90.7 per cent of his passes and managing one shot from his 59 touches. United grabbed a late winner after his departure from the pitch, Ronaldo scoring in the fifth additional minute.

Mason Greenwood also played in that game but will not be involved for England as the Three Lions continue their World Cup qualifying campaign, Southgate leaving him out due to concerns over the young forward’s heavy workload.

Solskjaer has backed the decision as Greenwood has already made eight appearances in the campaign, scoring three times.

"Gareth is understanding that the boy is only 20 - he turned 20 today (Friday). He's going to be a top player for England and for Manchester United, but he has to be managed in the right way,” Solskjaer said.

"It gives us a chance to work on his fitness but also to give him a rest because he has been playing in many, many games at a high intensity."

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended his decision to leave Donny van de Beek on the bench during Manchester United's dramatic 2-1 win over Villarreal in the Champions League.

The Dutch central midfielder was filmed throwing his chewing gum and having to be calmed down by team-mates as Fred and Jesse Lingard were chosen to come on with the scores tied at 1-1 and one minute of normal time remaining at Old Trafford.

The 24-year-old has played just 141 minutes of football this season after being denied the chance to leave the club in the most recent transfer window.

Solskjaer argues, however, that with a squad so stacked full of talent, it is impossible for him to keep everyone happy, and insists that he is satisfied with Van de Beek's professional conduct.

"You know, I manage a squad full of international footballers, competitive footballers who want to make a difference, who want to play," Solskjaer said to the media. "They all want to be on the pitch, of course they do.

"Donny was ready to come on, as all players should be. I've been a sub more than anyone in this club probably - I must have a record [for] appearances as a sub - and you have to be ready all the time. I've been not very happy a few times but that is the decision the manager makes.

"Alex [Telles] was coming off as a left-back and Fred did that job well. So I understand the frustration, of course, every player is keen to play, that's got to be built into energy and determination for when you get on and show me.

"It's not just Donny, I've got a squad of internationals and if we're going to be successful we need positive energy, no energy sappers or soakers.

"Donny has never affected his team-mates negatively. As soon as I see players affecting the team negatively then that's a different scenario and I'll probably be firmer."

United's next challenge is their upcoming fixture with Everton at Old Trafford on October 2.

Cristiano Ronaldo was so "obsessed" with football that Alex Ferguson used to order him off the training field as he honed his talents.

Ronaldo joined United from Sporting CP at the age of 18 and has gone on to become one of the all-time greats, winning the Ballon d'Or five times.

The Portugal captain sensationally returned to Old Trafford in August after prolific spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, becoming the LaLiga giants' record all-time goalscorer.

Ferguson was a father figure for Ronaldo following his move to United as a teenager, but the legendary former United manager had to send him home to save his legs early in his first spell at the club.

Ex-United midfielder Nicky Butt revealed in the foreword for new book 'Viva Ronaldo': "Ronaldo was to emerge as a genius but it wasn't just about his talents that took him right to the top.

"It is often said that certain players worked hard, stayed behind for some extra training or to practise their techniques, but with Cristiano it was total dedication, total commitment, and total hard work.

"He didn't have a God given physique, it wasn't given, he worked hard to achieve it. He actually came to us as a skinny, scrawny young kid, and worked hard to get that physique over many, many years.

"He had to reach a new level of physical strength because the Premier League demanded it, and he had plenty of opportunity to see at first-hand how physical and tough it can be when he was up against, even in training, the likes of Roy Keane and Jaap Stam.

"We would also see him work relentlessly on his free-kicks and he would tell us about something he had seen somewhere, and he wanted to perfect it, and he would work again relentlessly until he did.

"It all went beyond dedication, he was obsessed with football. You see it all the time when some players talk about their dedication and how much extra practise they put in.

"But often it is little more than a pretence, maybe a touch more time practising and then rush off to do something else they are keen on, or can't wait to go home and have something to eat, but rarely do you find someone totally committed 24/7 to the game, but Cristiano was one of those.

"He never had a girlfriend back then, or seemed that interested in any distractions such as that, he never had a wife and kids to rush back to see or to entertain, he lived alone.

"He was the last to leave the building. In fact, you couldn't get him off the training pitch as he worked relentlessly on his techniques, as we all walking off he was carrying a bag of balls to work on those techniques.

"We would be having lunch in the canteen or getting ready to go home and you could hear the voice of Sir Alex bellowing across the training fields at two or three o'clock in the afternoon, shouting at Cristiano that it was time to get off the pitch as 'we have a game in two days - enough now'!"

England boss Gareth Southgate admitted Jadon Sancho has been called up for international duty even though he does not deserve a place based on form.

The 21-year-old winger has struggled since his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United, failing to register a goal or an assist in eight appearances across all competitions.

His numbers are in stark contrast to what he produced for Dortmund last season, for whom he managed 16 goals and 18 assists in 38 games across the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal.

Sancho was also limited to just one start and two substitute appearances as England reached the final of Euro 2020 before losing to Italy on penalties, with United's new signing also missing one of the spot-kicks after being brought on.

Southgate has still named Sancho in his 23-man England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary, however, and wants to reassure the youngster as he goes through a difficult patch.

"Does he deserve to be in [the England squad] on these performances over the last few weeks? Well, probably not," Southgate said.

"But I think we feel we have invested in Jadon over a period of time, we believe he can get to a high level.

"I would like some time with him to chat with him and help that process that's going on at Manchester United as well and I think for him to feel that we have belief in him at this point is a good message."

Southgate also claimed it was only natural for Sancho to require time to adjust after moving from the German top flight to the Premier League, suggesting that it would be more difficult for him to hit the same numbers in England.

"The Bundesliga is totally different, Dortmund is a big club but Manchester United is one of the biggest in the world," Southgate continued. 

"There's some adaptation to that, there's a definite adaptation to the league. You're not going to get the goals and assists numbers, anywhere near, in our league, that you are in the Bundesliga."

Before joining up with England, Sancho will hope to kick-start his season with a goal if he features when United face Everton on October 2, in their final game before the international break.

Manchester United target Kalvin Phillips was "born and belongs" at Leeds United, according to the Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Phillips, who came through the academy at Leeds and has developed tenfold under Bielsa, has repeatedly been linked with a move away from Elland Road after impressing in his debut Premier League campaign.

A subsequent call-up for England's Euro 2020 squad followed and the midfielder received praise once more, forming a remarkable partnership with Declan Rice as Gareth Southgate's side marched to their first major final in 55 years.

Indeed, Phillips recovered possession a team-high 45 times, while only three team-mates completed more than his 293 successful passes at the tournament.

And Bielsa, who transformed the 25-year-old into a holding midfielder after his appointment, expressed how valuable Phillips is to his side as reports of a move to Old Trafford continue to swirl.

"That's a question Kalvin [Phillips] needs to answer," Bielsa said on Thursday when asked about his midfielder's future.

"Of course, he's a very valuable player. I have seen in him the conduct I have very rarely seen in a player.

"In how football is right now, for a player to decline a team above the level where he is at, due to love of a club he is at, is not frequent.

"Loved definitively in the place he was born and belongs. When you go for the money, or for the evolution, you resolve a moment in your sporting career, but when you opt for the affection of those of people, you resolve in your life forever.

"When you're loved where you're from, the possibilities to be happy increase. The moment [if he leaves] and the way he does it will convert him as an idol forever.

"I'm sure he will only leave if it's guaranteed the link to the place he was born remains intact. He will know how to do it."

Phillips has picked up where he left off last term, ranking second among club charts for both recoveries (49) and successful opposition-half passes (109) despite playing one top-flight game fewer than most of his colleagues.

He also sits third for completed passes (236) and fifth for duels won (22) and Bielsa believes his development deserves leadership status in the team with opponents now targeting to neutralise him.

"Kalvin's passage for the national team and evaluation of his game clearly allows him to have leadership within the team," the head coach continued.

"When a player performs, that improvement in his performance is perceived by everybody. One of the consequences is, to do what you did before requires more effort. The opponent sees he's shining, they do their utmost to neutralise him."

However, despite the links away to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, Phillips' agent Kevin Sharp insisted that his client was content with life at Leeds.

"I can only see a positive outcome," Sharp told the Telegraph. "Kalvin's desire is to stay at Leeds and there is a real willingness from all sides to make it happen."

Teddy Sheringham is not concerned Mason Greenwood is merely playing a supporting role to Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, believing it is better to play out of position than watch from the sidelines.

Greenwood broke into the United team as a winger but has long been considered their future at centre-forward.

The 19-year-old started in that position against Leeds United on the opening day of the Premier League season and scored in a 5-1 win.

However, five of his subsequent six starts in all competitions have seen Greenwood stationed on the right wing, while he also occupied the flank after coming off the bench in the EFL Cup defeat to West Ham.

Greenwood has not added to his tally of three goals this term since Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo is not the only player standing in Greenwood's way either, with Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial also getting opportunities up front, while Marcus Rashford will soon return from injury.

Greenwood has taken 11.87 per cent of his 337 touches in 2021-22 in the opposition box, ranking fifth for United in this regard behind Martial, Cavani, Ronaldo and the now departed Daniel James.

But the England international's 24 shots are only bettered by Bruno Fernandes (29), also the sole United player to make more than his eight appearances.

Indeed, having featured in 634 minutes, trailing only David de Gea, Fernandes and Paul Pogba, former United forward Sheringham feels Greenwood will benefit from being in the thick of the action.

"I think he's a fantastic player," Sheringham told Stats Perform. "He's obviously not being played in his natural position as a number nine or number 10 at the moment, but he's still a young man.

"He's still learning his trade, and you would rather learn your trade on the pitch but not in your position, rather than being off the pitch watching the game as a sub waiting to get in that position.

"He's still learning the game, he's still involved in these big games, and that experience can can be great for him."

Greenwood played 89 minutes on the right against Villarreal on Wednesday, in which time he had one attempt and created two chances.

He was then replaced by Jesse Lingard, who assisted Ronaldo's vital winner in a last-gasp 2-1 victory in the Champions League group stage.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed David de Gea as the "best goalkeeper in the world" following his heroics in the stunning Champions League win over Villarreal.

Cristiano Ronaldo struck in the 95th minute to lift United past Villarreal 2-1 in a last-gasp comeback at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

United were fortunate to be on level terms at half-time – De Gea producing a number of saves to thwart Villarreal in a rematch of last season's Europa League final.

Paco Alcacer did find a way past De Gea in the second half, but Alex Telles' sublime volley and Ronaldo's stoppage-time winner ensured United opened their Group F account following the club's matchday one defeat.

Following a difficult 2020-21 campaign, criticism in the wake of the Europa League final loss to Villarreal and doubts over his future after Dean Henderson's return to the Theatre of Dreams, Solskjaer lauded De Gea.

"A very difficult game against a very good team. First half, we had lots of possession, but they counter-attack really well, transition, attack quickly and created some big, big moments in the game," Solskjaer said during his post-match news conference.

"Thankfully, we had the best goalkeeper in the world tonight. David was fantastic and very happy with his performance. Second half. They had more of the ball. It was still open and they deserved to lead.

"But, you know, Old Trafford is magic, Champions League, Old Trafford, sometimes that history can help us. And tonight, Cristiano [Ronaldo], of course, came up with a good goal. And Alex [Telles] scored a fantastic goal."

On De Gea, who made six saves, Solskjaer added: "You are probably right that he had a difficult summer after that [final with Villarreal]. Of course, he went to the Euros, didn't play there, but he's really come back with a determination and work rate that I've enjoyed. And today he got this again.

"He got a deserved outcome because he's saved us. Tonight, we have to be realistic and say that without David, of course, we've got two very good keepers with Tom [Heaton] and Dean [Henderson], but today David deserves the man of the match."

United have lost only once in their last 13 home games in all European competition (W10 D2), with Ronaldo the first Red Devils player to score a 90th-minute winner in the Champions League since Marouane Fellaini against Young Boys in November 2018.

Ronaldo (36 years and 236 days) became the second oldest United player to score a goal in European competition at Old Trafford after Bryan Robson (36y 282d) against Galatasaray in 1993.

No player has scored more 90th-minute winning goals in Champions League history than Ronaldo (three) – level with Sergio Aguero.

It comes after United superstar Ronaldo, who made his 178th Champions League appearance, broke the record for most games played by a single player.

Diogo Dalot said: "When you add Cristiano to the team, it's always a plus. Like I said, many times, he's a fantastic player on and outside the pitch. He gives us energy. But we are a proper team.

"We give to Cristiano as well to help have these moments. Like we saw many times he can be very decisive until the end. But today was a team effort until the end. And we're so glad that Cristiano could score that goal at the end."

Cristiano Ronaldo repeated his desire to make history with Manchester United after his stoppage-time strike helped the Red Devils sneak past Villarreal 2-1 in the Champions League.

Paco Alcacer had given Villarreal a deserved lead at Old Trafford before Alex Telles' stunning volley preceded Ronaldo's 95th-minute winner in front of the Stretford End on Wednesday.

With the late strike, Ronaldo became the first United player to net a 90th-minute winner in the Champions League since Marouane Fellaini in November 2018.

And Ronaldo, who surpassed former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas to become the Champions League's outright appearance holder in his 178th match, expressed his delight at being back in Manchester.

"Everything is open and we believe we can go through [the group]," five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo – who won the Champions League with United in 2008 – told BT Sport.

"This is why I came back because I miss this club, I made history here and I want to do it again.

"I have to say thank you not only from me but from all the team for pushing the team so far this season."

Ronaldo became United's second oldest scorer at home in European competition (36 years and 236 days) after Bryan Robson (36y 282d) against Galatasaray in 1993.

Ronaldo's late heroics also ended a run of four draws against Villarreal, who suffered their first defeat in 18 games – having won 12 and drawn five of their previous matches.

The win gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United their first win in Group F following the matchday one defeat at Young Boys.

United are due to meet leaders Atalanta in their next Champions League fixture on October 20.

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes said he always believed the Red Devils could win after Cristiano Ronaldo's stoppage-time winner completed a stunning 2-1 Champions League comeback against Villarreal.

United were staring at back-to-back defeats to start their Group F campaign when Paco Alcacer gave visiting Villarreal a 1-0 lead in a repeat of last season's Europa League final at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Villarreal upstaged United in the Europa League decider, but they were unable to shock Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's underperforming side again as Alex Telles equalised with a spectacular volley on the hour before Ronaldo sparked wild celebrations via his 95th-minute strike.

It was a largely frustrating night for United in Manchester, where the Premier League giants relied on some spectacular goalkeeping from David de Gea to remain in the contest, however stand-in captain Fernandes was always confident of a result.

"I always thought we could win, even after they scored," Fernandes, who wore the armband in the absence of injured skipper Harry Maguire, told BT Sport.

"I felt we could always come back into the game and turn it around. After the goal of Alex everyone feels the atmosphere, it was unbelievable. The push from the fans was incredible.

"Some big saves from David who helps a lot to keep us in the game.

"After that at the end Cristiano, strikers always have the feeling to score, and he had it once again."

United have lost only once in their last 13 home games in all European competition (W10 D2), with Ronaldo the first Red Devils player to score a 90th-minute winner in the Champions League since Marouane Fellaini against Young Boys in November 2018.

Ronaldo (36 years and 236 days) became the second oldest United player to score a goal in European competition at Old Trafford after Bryan Robson (36y 282d) against Galatasaray in 1993.

No player has scored more 90th-minute winning goals in champions League history than Ronaldo (three) – level with Sergio Aguero.

It comes after United superstar Ronaldo who made his 178th Champions League appearance – breaking the record for most games played by a single player.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauded Cristiano Ronaldo for his late winner against Villarreal, saying "there's always a chance" when the Manchester United star is playing.

The Portugal captain made history on Wednesday as he made his 178th Champions League appearance, breaking the record held by Iker Casillas.

The 36-year-old marked the occasion with a 95th-minute goal to give United a 2-1 victory over Unai Emery's side and avenge their shoot-out defeat in last season's Europa League final.

Villarreal had not lost a game in normal time since a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid on the final day of last season, and they fully deserved their lead at Old Trafford when Paco Alcacer converted Arnaut Danjuma's cross.

Alex Telles blasted home a superb volley to level the scores before Ronaldo got United their first Champions League points of 2021-22, firing low past Geronimo Rulli after being teed up by Jesse Lingard.

"That's what happens here at Old Trafford. It's happened so many times before," Solskjaer told BT Sport. "Of course, we had to throw caution to the wind, and we got lucky in the end.

"They're a very, very hard team to beat, they've not lost since way before the [Europa League] final, and they've played some good teams.

"It's a difficult one because we're at home, we want to win, but they play so well that if we don't go and press them, they'll be happy enough sitting off.

"Sometimes, it's not about pass there, pass there. It's the crowd – they've sucked a few balls in before. When you've got Cristiano on the pitch, there's always a chance.

"He's so, so good in front of goal. He has an impact on everyone: the crowd, the players, the whole club.

"It's massive for the players to win games in this fashion after we lost the [Villa] game in that fashion. It's great."

Lingard showed great poise to control Ronaldo's header down from a Fred cross before presenting him with the chance to win the game, and Solskjaer admitted the England international probably deserves to be playing more often.

"Jesse was probably not happy at not playing more," he said. "But he comes on, he makes an impact. That's what you do when you're a sub at this club."

Cristiano Ronaldo struck in the sixth minute of injury time to give Manchester United a 2-1 Champions League victory over Villarreal.

In a repeat of last season's Europa League final, won by the LaLiga side on penalties after a 1-1 draw, the Red Devils found themselves deservedly behind when Paco Alcacer scored early in the second half.

Alex Telles levelled with a spectacular volley, and it looked as though these sides would share the spoils for the fifth game in a row in this competition, but Ronaldo drilled past Geronimo Rulli to send Old Trafford into raptures.

The result at least will ease some of the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, although plenty of concerns will remain after another disjointed display in which his side were indebted to David de Gea in goal.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in the starting line-up for Manchester United against Villarreal, meaning he will break the Champions League appearance record.

The Portugal international will lead the line for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

That will give him his 178th appearance in Europe's elite club competition, surpassing the number of outings made by his former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas.

Ronaldo is already the Champions League's all-time record goalscorer, with 135 strikes from his previous 177 appearances for United, Madrid and Juventus.

While he played in United's opening Group F game at Young Boys, a surprise 2-1 defeat, this will be Ronaldo's first Champions League game at Old Trafford for United since an April 2009 tie against Arsenal. 

Elsewhere, United have had to embark on a defensive reshuffle with captain Harry Maguire out injured and right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka suspended. 

There were hopes Luke Shaw would be able to be involved, but he was unable to make the matchday squad. Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles consequently joined Raphael Varane in defence.

Further forward, Jadon Sancho replaced Fred in a line-up filled with firepower up front.

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