How Man Utd could line up against Tottenham with De Gea set to MISS clash with Covid and Cristiano Ronaldo back

MANCHESTER UNITED could be braced to welcome back Cristiano Ronaldo after his derby day fiasco – but be without David de Gea against Tottenham.

The United legend was left out of Ralf Rangnick's squad that lost 4-1 in against Manchester rivals City.

SunSport revealed Ronaldo flew to Portugal last weekend rather than stay and support his team-mates at the Etihad.

He had been told ahead of the game that he would not be in the starting line-up and then developed a hip problem.

But interim boss Rangnick confirmed Ronaldo returned to training and put himself in contention to start.

He said: "He resumed for training yesterday. He's fit again, resumed training yesterday and we shall see which formation we will line up with tomorrow."

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If Rangnick reverts back to a 4-2-3-1, Ronaldo could be expected to lead the line.

But, the German deployed a 4-1-2-1-2 setup at City which saw Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga partner each other.

Either could play with Ronaldo in a pair or shift out wide if Rangnick sets up with two wingers and one striker.

Edison Cavani is also available to lead the line or play in a two-man attack depending on what formation is used.

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Marcus Rashford is another capable of playing centrally or out wide but has struggled for form and game time of late.

De Gea may be forced to sit the crunch clash out, though.

SunSport revealed he has tested positive for coronavirus and Dean Henderson looks on course to replace the ever-present Spaniard to make his first Premier League appearance of the season.

De Gea may be granted permission to play by the Premier League – but only if he can provide a negative PCR test in time.

MIDFIELD MEN

Bruno Fernandes is expected to play in the No10 role of either formation.

Scott McTominay and Fred are United's regular holding pair, but Paul Pogba could contest for a defensive midfield role in a 4-2-3-1.

But if a diamond formation is used, the trio of McTominay, Fred and Pogba could play behind playmaker Fernandes.

Other midfield options are Nemanja Matic, who often plays deep, or Jesse Lingard, capable of playing further afield or out wide.

United could keep the same back line which leaked four goals against City.

That includes Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles at full-back with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof playing centre-half.

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Luke Shaw is still ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19 while Diogo Dalot is in contention to replace out-of-sorts Wan-Bissaka.

Rangnick also confirmed Rapahel Varane is at least in contention to start in defence after recovering from coronavirus.

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