MANCHESTER UNITED’s absence of Cristiano Ronaldo through injury for this afternoon’s crunch derby is ‘not a great loss’ according to Gary Neville.
Ronaldo was a no show for the team meeting on Saturday evening, with United Stars were stunned by his decision not to join with the squad.
But Neville reckons this could play into United’s hands when it comes to their attacking style of play.
Speaking of Sky Sports, Neville said: “United for the last three or four years, especially under Ole [Gunner Solskjaer] were a counterattack team.
“[They were] really comfortable recline, punching through [Marcus] Rashford and others at the break.”
“And I think it’s going to be the same today and since Cristiano isn’t in the team I could never say it’s positive, but actually I don’t see it as the big loss I could make in other games.
“Because actually I think Manchester United must be dangerous today if Rashford counterattacks up front and they’re better off than if they were with Cristiano I think.”
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Neville’s comments come despite Ronaldo being comfortably United’s top scorer this season.
He has scored 15 times in all competitions, six times more than the second-highest goalscorer Bruno Fernandes.
Still, Neville opined that the aging Ronaldo doesn’t really fit the counter tactics required when confronted Pep Guardiola City.
Ronaldo was pictured in full training on Wednesday but suffered a blow at the end of the week that ruled him out of the mammoth derby clash.
He then opted not to travel to the posh Lowry Hotel for United’s pre-match meeting, a decision that left his team-mates stunned.
SunSport understand United stars were shocked when Ronaldo was not included in the squad for their one-day hotel stay.
Dressing room members felt that a player as elderly as Ronaldo should have joined them for support ahead of such a massive game, regardless of whether he is injured for the game.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17860615/ronaldo-injured-man-utd-neville-derby/ Cristiano Ronaldo ‘not a huge loss’ for Man Utd in Crunch City derby, Neville blasts injured striker