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The Reds will walk out under the floodlights at the Theatre of Dreams for a Champions League clash in front of a capacity crowd for the first time since April 2019 tonight, as we meet again with the Spanish side who edged us out on penalties in last season’s Europa League final.
Following our opening defeat to Young Boys in Switzerland a fortnight ago, Solskjaer underlined the importance of United picking up all three points in front of our home crowd this evening, when he spoke to club media’s Mark Sullivan…
Ronaldo is also the competition’s top goalscorer on 135 goals, but he has never scored against Villarreal as a United player despite boasting a good record against them with Real Madrid. He played against the Spanish side four times in his previous spell with the Red Devils.
Geronimo Rulli will also see this as a challenge, having conceded six times in three matches against him while he was at Real Sociedad and Ronaldo was with Real Madrid.
It could be that Shaw is joining the squad separately later on in the afternoon, but the signs would appear to indicate that he will miss the Villarreal game.
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When injuries to Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with only one game-changing substitution against Aston Villa on Saturday, there was three realistic candidates to come on.
First was Edinson Cavani, the striker who did come on to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and won the penalty which Bruno Fernandes missed. Cavani has started this season slowly but is a world-class centre forward who scored 10 times in his final 11 games for Manchester United last season.