Phil Jones chosen to play for Manchester United for the first time in 708 days in Wolves clash

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Phil Jones plays for Manchester United for the first time in 708 days after defender is named in Ralf Rangnick’s starting line-up to face Wolves… while Cristiano Ronaldo replaces the injured Harry Maguire as Red Devils captain

  • Phil Jones will start for Manchester United against Wolves on Monday evening
  • Jones has been out with a knee injury for two years and last played 708 days ago 
  • The defender starts with Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly all injured
  • Cristiano Ronaldo will captain United against Wolves in Maguire’s absence
  • LIVE: All the in-game updates as Manchester United host Wolves at Old Trafford


Phil Jones will make his first Manchester United start for 708 days after he was named in his side’s starting line-up for their Premier League clash with Wolves on Monday night.

The England international last started a match in United’s 6-1 FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers in January 2020 but was sidelined with a long-term knee injury that has ruled him out for nearly two years.

Jones has battled to overcome a knee injury, a time he has described as ‘the lowest of his life’, but has since only played in behind closed doors games as he looks to improve his fitness. 

Phil Jones will make his first Man United appearance in 708 days against Wolves on Monday

Phil Jones will make his first Man United appearance in 708 days against Wolves on Monday

Jones (right) last played for the Red Devils in a 6-1 FA Cup win over Tranmere in January 2020

Jones (right) last played for the Red Devils in a 6-1 FA Cup win over Tranmere in January 2020

Sportsmail revealed last month that Jones has recently attracted interest from Portuguese side Benfica over a potential January loan deal, but now he has been put into the United starting XI for the visit of Wolves.  

The 29-year-old comes into the team in place of captain Harry Maguire, who picked up an injury in the 3-1 victory over Burnley on Thursday night. 

Also in Maguire’s absence, Cristiano Ronaldo will captain United for only the second time in his career, with the first coming in a victory over Bolton in March 2008.

Rangnick has only made two changes from the side that beat Burnley 3-1 thanks to three first-half goals, with the other switch – aside from Jones – the return of Raphael Varane to the starting line-up in place of Eric Bailly. 

Cristiano Ronaldo (above) will captain Manchester United in place of the injured Harry Maguire

Cristiano Ronaldo (above) will captain Manchester United in place of the injured Harry Maguire

Ronaldo (above) last captained the Old Trafford club in a victory over Bolton in March 2008

Ronaldo (above) last captained the Old Trafford club in a victory over Bolton in March 2008

Bailly limped off in the second-half of United’s win over the Clarets and has not made the matchday squad for the visit of Wolves. 

There is still only a place on the bench for Bruno Fernandes, with Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani partnering Ronaldo in a four-pronged United attack. 

Nemanja Matic, meanwhile, keeps his place alongside Scott McTominay in midfield, ahead of Fred and Donny van de Beek in the pecking order. 

Ralf Rangnick has made two changes from the United side who beat Burnley 3-1 on Thursday

Ralf Rangnick has made two changes from the United side who beat Burnley 3-1 on Thursday

The team news also means Swedish defender Victor Lindelof has not yet recovered from the breathing problems that forced him to come off a 1-0 victory over Norwich on December 11.

A subsequent Covid-19 outbreak at Old Trafford saw United have an enforced 16-day break and Rangnick confirmed the defender had tested positive for the virus. 

The Red Devils take on Wolves hoping to close the gap to fourth-placed Arsenal to just a single point with a win, thereby extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine games since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.  

Manchester United starting XI against Wolves (4-2-2-2): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Jones, Shaw; McTominay, Matic; Sancho, Greenwood; Ronaldo (c), Cavani

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