Manchester United v Real Madrid Champions League Match Preview
It’s one the world has been waiting for: Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United welcome the Galacticos of Real Madrid to Old Trafford in a Champions League round-16 tie what is tipped to be viewed by over 1 billion football fans.
Last time round at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show with a performance the gods would applause, now he returns to his former Premier League club backed by boss Jose Mourinho to finish off the job and send Manchester United out of Europe’s most coveted footballing prize.
Coming off a double win against fierce Spanish foes Barcelona, beating them in the league and cup in under one week, Mourinho will recall his main goal threats to the starting line-up presenting the usual attacking line of three behind the striker.
The Special One will keep faith with in-form France striker Benzema to make life hell for the ageing United central defensive pair of Ferdinand and Vidic; joining the attack through the wide areas will be Ronaldo and Di Maria, who arguable played his best game in months against Barcelona last week.
The only sign of frailty can be considered the omission of captain and injured goalkeeper Casillas, replaced by back-up Lopez although whether United break through to trst the newcomer is another story.
Meanwhile Sir Alex has been encouraging shooting practice from his outfit also, with summer signing Kagawa running a fine in-paly tutorial of ‘How to score a hat-trick’ at the weekend against Wigan, Wayne Rooney also made the score sheet.
Kagawa will retain his starting position in the attacking berth, linking up with Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney, all three of whom will be itching to play in lone striker Robin Van Persie for an early lead.
As the teams go head-to-head tonight there will be unexpected changes to the formations, we perceive the likely line-ups to be:
Manchester United: GK – De Gea; D – Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; M – Carrick, Cleverley; A – Welbeck, Rooney, Kagawa; S – Van Persie
Real Madrid: GK – Lopez; D – Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao; M – Khedira, Alonso; A – Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; S – Benzema