Ronaldo makes Europa League debut: Man United line-up vs Real Sociedad

Manchester United kick off their Europa League campaign on Thursday as they welcome Real Sociedad to Old Trafford, having also done so in their most recent venture in the tournament in 2021.

Ten Hag has made wholesale changes to the side which recorded its fourth straight victory in the Premier League against Arsenal over the weekend, with Bruno Fernandes among those to drop out.

Cristiano Ronaldo has not started since the debacle at Brentford last month, with Ten Hag restricting him to four appearances off the bench in the Premier League.

Now, the 37-year-old is set to make his debut in the Europa League as he leads the line for the Reds. Casemiro, who has made cameos in each of the last three league games, makes his first start of the season.

As confirmed by the official Manchester United website, the Reds line up as follows.

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia; Fred, Casemiro; Antony, Eriksen, Elanga; Ronaldo

Antony, who enjoyed a stellar start to life in Manchester, keeps his place after a goalscoring debut against Arsenal whilst Anthony Elanga is given the opportunity to impress.

Read more: Jamie Carragher takes same Lisandro Martinez stance for the third time in 23 days

SN’s verdict…
Ten Hag could view this competition as United’s most realistic route into next season’s Champions League but most importantly, it will be a tournament the Dutchman could possibly end the Reds trophy drought with.

The run to the 2021 final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was spectacular and winning the Europa League is still a great achievement – Ten Hag will be aiming to do so at the first time of asking.

His team selection does tell us quite a lot about the pecking order at United. Ronaldo is further down than some may have expected at the start of the campaign.

The stellar recovery effort made after two opening defeats will have strengthened Ten Hag’s hand in that regard but clearly, there is no room for passengers.

More Stories Casemiro Cristiano Ronaldo Erik ten Hag Europa League Manchester United Premier League Real Sociedad