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Cristiano Ronaldo dropped out of Man U starting line up against Chelsea.

Cristiano Ronaldo starts on the bench for Manchester United at Chelsea in the Premier League this afternoon.

Carrick guided the Red Devils to victory at Villarreal as interim manager following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacked last Sunday.

Michael Carrick has revealed he wants to “freshen things up” and that is the reason he has left Cristiano Ronaldo out of Manchester United’s starting line-up to face Chelsea.

Carrick is taking charge of his second game, and it looks set to be his last, with Ralf Rangnick set to become the manager until the end of the season.

And what appears to be his final game in charge before Ralf Rangnick replaces him, the former United midfielder has opted to make a statement by dropping the Portuguese superstar.

It is just the fourth time Ronaldo has started from the bench in a league game in nine seasons.

Perhaps in an effort to firstly stop the Blues, Carrick has gone for Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to lead the line, providing in theory more of a threat on the counter-attack.

The move also provides a free role for Bruno Fernandes, with Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay shielding the United back line.

It is just the second time all three midfielders have started in the Premier League.

When asked to explained his decision, the United caretaker boss stated the importance of freshening things up.

Carrick told Sky Sports: “A few tweaks and changes to freshen things up, of course Cristiano is the standout name, but it’s just a game plan and idea. I had a good chat with Cristiano, we decided to go with that.

“It’s a decision to pick a team to be honest, I don’t think it needs more than that. Everybody has been terrific, Cristiano included, he’s ready to come on if needed to come and win the game. We’ve come with a plan, we’re happy with the team we’ve picked and we’re looking forward to the game.

Speaking to the Chelsea club website, Tuchel said: “It’s not a secret any team in the world without Cristiano is in some parts of the game a weaker team, because he is one of the greatest ever players.

“They lost a big champion, a big reference and a big personality. But you can win games and be a strong team without Cristiano Ronaldo. This is also a truth. And they are.

They have a lot of experience, they have a lot of talent, and they have a big squad. They have a very experienced coach, and they are a proud club that is used to winning. They have a certain mentality that is shaped by winning, and shaped by the demand of winning.

It is my first time to play Juventus. We face hard competitors, and this is what we like. We are up for tough challenges and we hope to constantly get better. This challenge will make us a better team, and we are looking forward to it.”

If Chelsea can win today, then they will three points clear of Manchester City – who just beat West Ham United 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

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