Line-ups Debate: A false 9 or Ronny to return?


This is simply a must-win game for Ralf Rangnick and the lads, and it’s imperative chances are taken. We’ve created plenty since the German arrived, but our problem has been converting them. Time is now running out, and this game could swing the top-four race back in our favour. Or, if it goes the way of Antonio Conte and Spurs, we could be left flagging behind Spurs and their north London rivals Arsenal. 

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani are fitness worries, but I’d bet that Ralf will give his veteran strikers as much time as possible to make it onto the field. The pair proved the difference when we beat Tottenham 3-0 in October – their dead-eyed finishing allowed United to absorb pressure and back ourselves to win the game via a few well-executed counterattacks. We know that Harry Kane and Heung-min Son are quite capable of doing exactly the same for the opposition – no duo have directly combined for more goals in the Premier League’s post-1992 history. 

While Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba threatened in those unusual roles during the first half at the Etihad Stadium, there’s simply no substitute for gnarled, seen-it-all-before centre-forward nous when it comes to the crunch. Just look at Karim Benzema’s work at the Bernabeu on Wednesday. The season is approaching the business end, and few players in world football have a better record in that regard than Cavani and Ronaldo. If there’s any chance either or both could play, I think it’s a gamble Ralf Rangnick will feel he has to take this weekend.

– Joe Ganley

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United Museum buys Edwards items

The auction of sports memorabilia included 42 items that were being sold by the daughters of Molly Leech – who was Edwards’ fiancée when he tragically died.

Among the items bought was the most thought-provoking item; his overnight bag that he had taken to Munich, which sold for £6,820. The Museum also bought two letters from the Dassler brothers, who founded adidas and Puma. The signed typescript letter from Adi Dassler, founder of adidas, dated 10 February 1958, reads: “Dear Mr Edwards, with our very best wishes for an early and entire recovery, we beg to hand you a little present, which we hope you will enjoy, yours very truly, Adi Dassler” fetched £2,232.

A signed typescript letter from Rudolf Dassler founder of Puma sportswear, dated 17 February 1958, signed by his son Armin A. Dassler, on behalf of his father ‘Rudi’ and wishing Duncan and his friends a quick recovery and happy return to their country, further stating “let’s us hope and pray that you will soon regain your good condition. Please take some flowers as a sign of our hearty feelings towards you,” realised £1,612.

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Parker picks scariest Class of ’92 player

“The boss would introduce them as ‘the players that were going to take your place’,” smiled Parker. “One hundred per cent. That’s how it was!

“The best player out of all of them was Scholesy. Scholesy stuck out like a sore thumb, without a doubt, with the ability and what he had.

“But Nicky Butt… people started realising what Butty was, and you were scared of him! He was that tough, mentally and physically. He wasn’t scared of anybody and would stand his ground with anybody.”

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