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Gary Neville Explains Why Cristiano Ronaldo Is ‘Not A Big Loss’ For Man Utd Ahead Of Man City Game

Jack Kenmare

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Gary Neville Explains Why Cristiano Ronaldo Is ‘Not A Big Loss’ For Man Utd Ahead Of Man City Game

Gary Neville thinks that Manchester United's tactics may suit the team more without Cristiano Ronaldo against Manchester City - and labelled his absence as "not a big loss" ahead of Sunday's derby.

It emerged earlier today that Ronaldo would be ruled out of Sunday's Premier League clash at the Etihad through injury.

But despite those initial claims, reports surfaced that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is 'not injured' and has asked to be left out of Manchester's squad after being told he wasn't going to start against Pep Guardiola's men.

Ronaldo, who has scored 15 goals in all competitions this season, will not take part this weekend.

And former teammate Gary Neville believes it could be a positive piece of news for Ralf Rangnick's side when it comes to their style of play against City.

"United over the last three or four years, particularly under Ole [Gunner Solskjaer] were a counter attack team," Neville began.

"[They were] really comfortable sitting back, punching out through [Marcus] Rashford and others on the break.

"And I think that will be exactly the same today, and actually Cristiano not being in the team, I could never say it's a positive, but actually I don't see it as the big loss that I might do in other games.

"Because I actually think on the counter attack Manchester United need to be dangerous today, and they're better off with Rashford up front counter attacking than they would be with Cristiano I think."

Earlier this week, in an interview with SPORTbible, Neville said that none of Manchester United's current squad would get into Manchester City's team this season, including Cristiano Ronaldo.

Neville made the claim while going head-to-head with former City defender Micah Richards in a new episode of Agree To Disagree, in partnership with Sky Bet.

You can watch that episode below:

When asked to name a combined XI from United and City ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby, the former full-back and Richards failed to see eye-to-eye over the Portuguese.

"I can be really honest about it, I can go through them. [Ruben] Dias, [Aymeric] Laporte, [Joao] Cancelo, [Kyle] Walker – they're better than all of United's back four.

"Midfield, Fernandinho and Rodri are better than United's holding midfield players.

"Bernardo Silva, [Ilkay] Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne… Bruno [Fernandes] is the only one that I think could, over the last 12 to 18 months.

"But De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, [Riyad] Mahrez, [Phil] Foden, [Raheem] Sterling… I can't put Bruno into front of Silva and De Bruyne at the moment. It's a sad indictment really."

Richards responded: "I’m going to disagree and say [Cristiano] Ronaldo."

While a reluctant Neville hit back: "You can’t put Ronaldo in at the moment."

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports/Alamy

Topics: Gary Neville, Manchester City, Manchester United, Premier League, Cristiano Ronaldo

Jack Kenmare
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