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Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick downplayed the reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes ahead of the Red Devils home clash with Wolves.

United responded to a disappointing 1-1 draw with Newcastle by defeating Burnley 3-1 on Thursday, leaving them seventh in the Premier League.

Ronaldo and Fernandes have been subject to criticism by supporters and some pundits, and Rangnick warned that the Red Devils will not solely rely on the pair for their attacking output.

“Against Burnley, we had to play without Bruno [suspended] and again we did well, we played with two strikers, two wingers, two number sixes, every player in his best possible position,” he told Sky Sports.

“This is another thing we are trying to achieve, no matter which formation we are trying to play we have every player in his best possible position.

“So it is not only about the partnership between Cristiano and Bruno, it is about partnerships between other players.

“Since we will change the team and starting line-up every game it is about different partnerships and developing the whole team.

Wolves have not played since a 0-0 draw with Chelsea on December 19 due to various coronavirus-enforced postponements.

However, Bruno Lage’s side still sit in eighth – 10 points away from the top four – and the Wolves head coach joked how he would love to have compatriot Ronaldo in his side.

“If they are not happy with him, I have a place for him here,” Lage said, before adding quickly: “But I know they are happy with him.

“He has been at this level since he was very young. He is a machine, he wants to score, to score, to score.

“He is a massive player, I think any team in the world would want a player like him.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Manchester United – Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo’s first ever Premier League start came in a match against Wolves. The forward scored and assisted another against Burnley, taking him to double figures for goal involvements for a 17th straight league campaign.

Wolves – Roman Saiss

Only Raul Jimenez (7) and Ruben Neves (6) have scored more goals in the Premier League for Wolves since the start of last season than defender Romain Saiss (5).

KEY OPTA FACTS

·Wolves haven’t scored first in any of their last 13 Premier League games against Man Utd, since beating them 1-0 at Molineux in January 2004.

·Manchester United have a higher win rate in Premier League games in January than any other side in the history of the competition (65.5% – won 74 of 113 games). Meanwhile, Wolves’ lowest win rate in a specific month in the competition is in January (17.2% – won five of 29 games).

·Manchester United have the highest win rate (64.7%) of all sides in Premier League games played on Mondays (won 44 of 68 games). The Red Devils have lost just one of their last 17 such games (W8 D8), going down 3-0 at home to Spurs in August 2018.

·Wolves have won just four of their 16 Premier League games played on Mondays (D4 L8) – it’s their lowest win rate on any day of the week on which they’ve played more than once in the competition (25%).

·Manchester United have won their first league game in five of the last six calendar years, with the exception being a 2-0 loss at Arsenal in 2020.

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