EPL

Ronaldo to wait for 200th Premier League outing as Cavani makes first start of season

By Sports Desk October 02, 2021

Cristiano Ronaldo will have to wait for his 200th Premier League appearance after being named on Manchester United's bench for Everton's visit on Saturday, with Edinson Cavani making his first start of the season.

Cavani has had to be patient at the start of 2021-22, with the experienced Uruguayan absent for much of the first six weeks of the season.

His pre-season was delayed by his Copa America duties and subsequent extended holiday, while he has also missed games due to injury.

Cavani appeared as a substitute in last weekend's defeat to Aston Villa and Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League win over Villarreal, taking his appearances tally to three for the season.

But he looked sharp against the Yellow Submarine, with his trademark tirelessness key to winning the ball back in the build-up to Ronaldo's dramatic late winner, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rewarded him.

For Ronaldo, this will be the first time since returning to United that he has had to contend with a spot on the bench in the Premier League, having previous started three games and scored as many goals.

Should he appear as a substitute, the 36-year-old will clock up a landmark double century of outings in the Premier League.  

Ronaldo first appeared in England's top flight in 2003 after joining United from Sporting CP as a teenager, with this first spell at Old Trafford seeing him establish himself among the world's best.

He returned to United in August after 12 years at Real Madrid and Juventus, and he has hit the ground running for Solskjaer's men.

While United themselves have been rather erratic, winning three and losing three of their six games since Ronaldo returned, the Portugal great has proven a typically reliable source of goals.

He has scored five times already, including that late winner against Villarreal.

His goalscoring form has helped Ronaldo overtake Solskjaer in the standings for most goals scored at the club as of their first 200 Premier League matches.

Ronaldo is on 87 heading into the Everton game, with Solskjaer having scored 84 in his first 200 league games for United.

But it will take something special if Ronaldo is to be top of the pile in that respect after the Everton game given Rooney holds the record with 93 goals. No other play managed more than 47 (Paul Scholes).

Joining Ronaldo on the bench are Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho, the latter of whom has endured a difficult start to life at United.

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