Manchester United welcome Real Madrid to Old Trafford for the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash on Tuesday, with the tie finely poised at 1-1 after the first leg at the Bernabeu last month.
The spotlight will once again be on Cristiano Ronaldo, who returns to Old Trafford for first time since his record-breaking move to the Spanish capital in 2009. Ronaldo, who scored 118 goals in 292 appearances during his time at United, is expected to receive a highly warm reception from the Red Devils faithful, with pundits wondering if the Portuguese captain would be carried away by emotion.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 7.45pm GMT, with ITV, ITV1 HD, UTV, Sky Sports Events Centre and BBC Radio 5 Live providing live coverage in the UK.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho renew old rivalries but the omens are good for Portuguese tactician, who has knocked out an English opposition twice in the same round in the recent past, before going on to win the Champions League on both occasions.
First half goals from Danny Welbeck and Ronaldo kept the tie at stalemate at the Bernabeu. However, the proceedings have to be wrapped up this time, one way or the other, with several experts and analysts expecting the game to go to extra time - and possibly penalties - to pick out a winner between these two European giants.
The Meringues are still a massive 13 points behind runaway leaders Barcelona in La Liga, but two successive and convincing El Clasico wins last week - one in the Copa del Rey semi-final and one in the league - has raised the spirits of Mourinho's men and their supporters, and they now expect nothing less than a win at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, United warmed up to this much-awaited clash by hammering Norwich City 4-0 at the weekend and have placed themselves 15 points clear of archrivals and defending champions Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
The last time these two sides met at Old Trafford was in the quarter finals of the 2002-03 Champions League campaign. That tie ended 4-3 to Real (6-5 on aggregate), with legendary Brazilian striker Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick at the Theatre of Dreams to send the Spanish outfit into semis.
- Last Five Games (all competitions, most recent first): W W W D W
- Last Match: Manchester United 4 - 0 Norwich City
- Last Five Games (all competitions, most recent first): W W W W D
- Last Match: Real Madrid 2 - 1 Barcelona
Manchester United: Both Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher are unavailable through injury and illness but they are the only confirmed absentees for the clash. Rio Ferdinand (illness), who missed the Norwich game is back in training and is expected to start but Phil Jones missed today's session at Carrington and is now facing a race against time to be fit for the match.
Cleverley could start if Jones fails his test. Otherwise, Ferguson is likely to field the same line-up that earned the 1-1 draw in the first leg, meaning Welbeck - who scored at the Bernabeu - and Shinji Kagawa - who netted a hat-trick at the weekend - would partner Wayne Rooney in the three-man attacking trio, behind target man Robin van Persie.
Ryan Giggs was left out of the squad altogether against the Canaries, despite having plenty of hype surrounding his 1000th match, and Ferguson has now revealed the landmark occasion would happen against Real.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley; Welbeck, Rooney, Kagawa; van Persie
Real Madrid: Mourinho has surprisingly included Iker Casillas (fractured hand) in the travelling squad but the Spain skipper is not cleared to play yet, and hence, January panic buy Diego Lopez is set to continue in goal. Otherwise, Real have a full-strength squad available for the trip.
Los Blancos rested most of their key players against Barcelona. However, they will surely have a more familiar looking squad on Tuesday, as Alvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira, Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo are all set to return to the first XI. Pepe was back in the line-up at the weekend as well and is also pushing for a start.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Lopez; Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao; Khedira, Alonso; di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema
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