Manchester United - Real Madrid Preview: All eyes on Ronaldo as he returns to Old Trafford for blockbuster second leg
The last-16 tie is delicately poised at 1-1 after a riveting first leg, whilst the Portuguese forward is back at his old stomping ground for the first time since his £80m move
By Husmukh Kerai
Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra
Welbeck, Rooney, Kagawa
Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Jose Mourinho has first-choice goalkeeper Iker Casillas back in his squad for the game at Old Trafford for the first time since January 23, but it remains unlikely that the Spain international will feature.
Marcelo is also back in contention after recovering from injury and will push Fabio Coentrao for a place at left-back.
The Real Madrid boss rested plenty of key players in the win over Barcelona at the weekend. Alvaro Arbeloa, Sami Khedira, Angel Di Maria, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo will all return to the starting line-up.
Phil Jones (ankle), who impressed in the first leg, is a doubt to feature on Tuesday, though Tom Cleverley is expected to come in for the Red Devils in midfield.
However, Rio Ferdinand is expected to return to the side after missing the win over Norwich at the weekend with illness.
Jonny Evans is likely to once again partner the Englishman in defence, with Nemanja Vidic who played at the weekend, missing out.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- The two previous Champions League encounters between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford have produced 12 goals.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored seven goals in 23 Champions League games at Old Trafford. He has 16 goals in 18 European games at the Santiago Bernabeu.
- Angel Di Maria has four assists in the competition this season, all coming against Manchester teams - three against City and one against United.
- Real Madrid are one of two Spanish teams to have beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Champions League. Deportivo La Coruna won 3-2 back in April 2000.
- Jose Mourinho has never won a Champions League game at Old Trafford. Porto's progress was built on a 1-1 draw while Inter lost 2-0 at United in 2008-09.
- On the two occasions the Real Madrid boss has won the Champions League, his teams have have knocked out English opposition in the last 16.
- United have managed only two clean sheets in their last 10 home Champions League games.
Alex Ferguson has only won twice in his 15 competitive encounters with Jose Mourinho.
- The Red Devils have had their woodwork rattled six times, the most of any side in the tournament this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester United 2-1 Real Madrid
- 22.34 %
Manchester United 1-2 Real Madrid
- 17.94 %
Manchester United 1-3 Real Madrid
- 9.57 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||5 Mar 2013||Manchester United 1 - Real Madrid 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||13 Feb 2013||Real Madrid 1 - Manchester United 1|
|19 May 2013||West Bromwich Albion 5 - Manchester United 5||EPL|
|12 May 2013||Manchester United 2 - Swansea City 1||EPL|
|5 May 2013||Manchester United 0 - Chelsea FC 1||EPL|
|28 Apr 2013||Arsenal FC 1 - Manchester United 1||EPL|
|22 Apr 2013||Manchester United 3 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|13||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
|18||Raúl Albiol Tortajada||Defender|
Real Madrid are in rampant form after back-to-back wins over arch-rivals Barcelona in the space of a week and, having rested most of their key players over the weekend, Jose Mourinho's men should be fit and raring to go. Sir Alex Ferguson's side, meanwhile, are coasting in the Premier League and would have had one eye on this tie during their routine win over Norwich at the weekend.
With 12 goals in the last two meetings between these two sides at Old Trafford, expect a high-scoring affair. The Red Devil's defensive record at home in Europe is poor with only two clean sheets in 10, and so Madrid could be favourites to score enough to progress.