Manchester United v Manchester City Match in Pictures
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Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that is “extra happy” to be on international duty with Portugal. The 36-year-old is in contention to take to the field against the Republic of Ireland and Serbia in what will be his 183rd and 184th caps for his country.
It will be a significant change of scenery from United, which has not been the most positive of places in recent weeks.
The excitement encapsulating his return to the red half of Manchester has dissipated amidst a shambolic run of results for the Red Devils.
Their trouncing at the hands of fierce rivals Manchester City was their sixth defeat in their last 12 matches in all competitions.
And amidst United’s sorry run, the Portugal captain said he had ‘extra happiness’ to be back with Fernando Santos’ side.
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“Good morning. It’s always an extra happiness when I’m back to my country,” Ronaldo posted alongside a picture of him smiling with the Portugal crest on Instagram.
Ronaldo linked up with the 2016 European Champions shortly after United’s humiliating 2-0 home defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side.
And he will be confronted by a reminder of the embarrassment at Old Trafford, as he will be joined by City goal scorer and fellow countryman Bernardo Silva, as well as the provider of both goals Joao Cancelo.
However, the national team is always a happy place for Ronaldo, particularly when he takes to the field.
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He hammered home a ruthless hattrick in Portugal’s 5-0 win at home to Luxembourg in their last World Cup qualifier.
However, they will need him to be on form once again in their crucial matches away to Ireland and at home to current group leaders Serbia.
But he will have every reason to be confident when they face Stephen Kenny’s side at the Aviva Stadium, as Ronaldo broke Irish hearts with goals in the 89th and 96th minutes.
And to make matters worse for his upcoming opponents, Ronaldo will be coming into the contest looking to unleash all his frustrations.
Ronaldo has developed a spectacular knack of popping up with vital goals to rescue United.
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He has found the net in every single Champions League match for Solskjaer’s beleaguered Reds, only just keeping them at the top of their group.
His spectacular last-minute volley in United’s recent 2-2 draw away to Atalanta only just preserved their place at the top of Group F.
However, United’s defeat to City was their sixth defeat in their last 12 matches, and their third home defeat in four matches.
Their recent poor form has seen them drop down to sixth place, where they trail current Premier League leaders Chelsea by nine points.
And with three consecutive away fixtures against Watford, Villarreal in the Champions League, and Chelsea, United will be praying Ronaldo is at his imperious best.
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