Steven Gerrard and Ralf Rangnick

Ralf confirms starter for Villa trip

Friday 14 January 2022 16:00

Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that Alex Telles will return to Manchester United’s starting line-up when we take on Aston Villa this Saturday.

The 29-year-old was given the full 90 minutes in three of Ralf’s first four matches in charge, but Luke Shaw featured at left-back for the home games with Burnley, Wolves and Aston Villa.

Shaw has to sit out of the trip to Villa Park though, having racked up five yellow cards in our opening 19 Premier League games – this means an automatic one-match ban in the competition.

Ralf revealed that Telles would come into the backline in the Midlands and added that the Brazilian has already proved himself when deputising for an injured Luke in November and December, with that good run of form helping earn him a first Brazil call-up since late 2020.

Alex Telles earns recall


Our defender is back in the Brazil squad ahead of more World Cup qualifiers.

“As you said it’s all about competition and in the last few weeks I think he realised there was a realistic chance for him to play,” Rangnick told club media.

“He will play tomorrow instead of Luke Shaw, [with him] being suspended. Even when Luke was injured or when he was fit, he still did well.”

Ralf went on to describe the different positional ‘profiles’ Luke and Alex fit into and the positives of being able to rotate between them.

He said that’s also something Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka offer on the right side of the defence and it remains to be seen which of those two will begin tomorrow’s game.

Aaron has been named in the starting XI for the last two league outings, but Dalot returned for the Emirates FA Cup win over Villa on Monday.

Rangnick reveals team news for Villa game


Find out the latest on Ronaldo and Maguire ahead of our trip to the Midlands.

“I’m more than happy to have two players like Luke and Alex for that position as a left-back,” Ralf added.

“The same is true for the right-back position with Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. We have, in each of those positions, two good players and depending on who is fully fit, fully fresh, do we need to rest somebody?

“As with Luke, it’s the case right now he is suspended, so it’s important to have two players with a little bit of a different profile.

“I think Alex is a little more of an offensive wing-back/full-back. The same is true of Diogo Dalot on the right-hand side.

“The other two English full-backs are both defensively and offensively balanced players, so that gives the coach lots of options depending on which team you’re going to play.”