Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has said that Cristiano Ronaldo‘s absence for Sunday’s Manchester derby is not “a big loss” for the Red Devils.
Ronaldo is not in the squad for the 20-time English champions, with the Portugal international missing out against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium due to a hip injury.
Neville has said that Man United will be more dangerous on the counter-attack without the presence of the 37-year-old, who has only netted once in the Premier League since the end of December.
“Manchester United will be playing on the counter,” Neville told Sky Sports News. “Over the last three or four years here, particularly under Ole, United was a counter-attacking team, really comfortable sitting back and punching out through Rashford and others. I think that will be exactly the same today.
“Ronaldo being out of the team, I could never say it’s a positive but I don’t see it as a big loss like in other games. I actually think that on the counter-attack, United needs to be dangerous today and they’re better off with Rashford upfront counter-attacking than they would be with Ronaldo.”
Ronaldo has scored 15 times and registered three assists in 30 appearances for Man United during the 2021-22 campaign, including nine goals and three assists in the Premier League.