Cristiano Ronaldo and seven other Premier League stars with points to prove this weekend
Aston Villa will kick things off when they host Everton at Villa Park in Saturday's early kickoff in what promises to be a boiling weekend of matches. Mandatory water breaks have been scheduled for each half to keep players cool – and some stars will be feeling the heat more than others.
The Brentford game represents a moment of truth for Ronaldo. If he can’t get into Ten Hag’s starting line-up then a line may well have been drawn in the sand.
The 37-year-old has made it clear he wants to leave and cut a frustrated figure on the bench for the first 53 minutes of United’s shocking defeat by Brighton last weekend. Once off the bench, he made a difference
With Frenkie de Jong still in Barcelona – for the time being at least – Martinez holds the status as United’s marquee summer signing. The centre-back cost £55million from Ajax and that price tag comes with plenty of added pressure attached.
Martinez and Harry Maguire appear to be Ten Hag’s first-choice pairing at the back – and he has the benefit of a pre-existing relationship with the manager
but with a player as good as Raphael Varane sat on the bench the pressure will begin to mount with another shaky performance.
Sticking with the Manchester United theme.. they need a striker. Martial is injured. Edinson Cavani is gone. Mason Greenwood is unavailable. Marcus Rashford is better on the left. Ronaldo is 37 years old and wants to leave
The Brentford striker has previously been linked with a move to Old Trafford and enjoyed a brilliant campaign last time out for the Bees.
The 26-year-old got 12 goals and five assists in the Premier League last season and is already off the mark this time around after scoring in the 2-2 draw against Leicester last weekend.
Brentford won’t want to lose their talismanic striker, but he will want to perform well regardless of his transfer intentions
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