Predicted Man Utd team for trip to Arsenal: Struggling star axed amid much-needed Ronaldo boost

Man Utd manager Ralf Rangnick with Cristiano Ronaldo

After a woeful display in the week, the predicted Manchester United team to face Arsenal could see Ralf Rangnick call upon star striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

United’s form has left a lot to be desired in recent weeks. The Red Devils have performed below the expected standards for many of their last few games.

Of their last four, they have won just one. That was a 3-2 victory over bottom of the table Norwich City, who levelled at 2-2 before Ronaldo bailed his side out, completing his hat-trick and striking the knockout blow.

Before that, the Old Trafford club lost 1-0 in a disappointing performance against strugglers Everton. They could have lost the game before that, too, but for Leicester City’s winner being ruled out, meaning the game ended 1-1.

United’s most recent game saw them thrashed 4-0 by rivals Liverpool. They will be keen on putting an end to their poor run, but a fixture against fifth-placed Arsenal will not be easy.

Man Utd could be boosted by the return of Ronaldo, who was not in the squad for the last game. The Portuguese was with his family after the tragic passing of his baby son.

Rangnick said in his pre-match press conference that the Portuguese attacker is “available again”, no doubt to the delight of fans.

Paul Pogba has been ruled out thanks to his injury in the last game, but Scott McTominay will be “back” and “fit to play”, said Rangnick in his pre-match press conference.

Last time out – Liverpool 4-0 Man Utd

Bruno Fernandes marking Thiago Alcantara

Rangnick’s selection for the game was interesting, as he opted for a three centre-back formation, which was eventually scrapped.

David De Gea started in net, with the centre-back grouping of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones – playing in just his second league game of the season – ahead of him.

Diogo Dalot played at left wing-back as opposed to his usual position at right-back, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka there instead. The midfield duo was Pogba -who sustained an injury in the opening stages – and Nemanja Matic.

Anthony Elanga and Bruno Fernandes were the attacking sparks behind the striker. The lone forward was Marcus Rashford, who just like the rest of the team, failed to have an impact.

Predicted Man Utd team against Arsenal

As the formation did not work against Liverpool, it will be no surprise if Rangnick reverts to a back four.

De Gea will likely retain his place, as could Maguire. However, Raphael Varane is back fit and will likely partner the England international instead of Lindelof. Dalot could shift to right-back, with Alex Telles returning at left-back – he was on the bench at Anfield.

McTominay may come in for the injured Pogba, and play alongside Matic, as Fred is still out.

Fernandes and Elanga could retain their places, and Jadon Sancho may return to the side in place of Rashford. Sancho has scored twice from the wing since Rashford’s last goal against West Ham in January.

Attacking threat, which was lacking last game, will be massively important. United will likely call upon top goalscorer Ronaldo for that, and will hope he can find the net as he has done so often this season.

Predicted Man Utd XI: De Gea; Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Telles; McTominay, Matic; Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo