Real Madrid vs Manchester United:Ferguson against Mourinho old rivals face to face, match preview / UCL News

It’s a case of the master facing the apprentice as Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United travel to face old rival Jose Mourinho and former apprentice Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Ronaldo was polished from rough diamond to sparkling gem during his six years under Ferguson at Old Trafford. He in no way went rogue, United cashed in handsomly when Real bought Ronaldo in 2009, but he has taken his game to another level in his time in Madrid and he now gets the chance to face his old master.

Many will feel apprentice will slay master, but do United have a Luke Skywalker in their midst? Ferguson will hold out hope that Robin van Persie can fill that role. Whatever the outcome, hopefully without any blood spilt, the game has all the ingredients to deliver a box office hit.

t’s fair to say neither Jose Mourinho nor Ferguson can complain about their sides being out of form going into the game. Real have lost just once in 2013 – admittedly a surprise loss at Granada – but they have found scoring pretty easy. Real Sociedad, Getafe and Sevilla have had four put past them – while Valencia picked the ball out of the net five times on January 20. And it is talisman Ronaldo who has led the way – his 20th hat-trick came in the win over Sevilla on Saturday.

If Real are smoking hot, United are positively on fire. The Premier League challenge of rivals Manchester City is lessening by the week – with the red half of Manchester now 12 points clear following a run of 16 points from a possible 18 in 2013.

Real Madrid vs Manchester United:Latest team news

Phil Jones and Jonny Evans emerged as doubts for United after picking up injuries against Everton, but both trained on Tuesday and should feature in the squad. Evans will be pushing for a start in defence, but Ferguson may opt for the experience of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Jones could be asked to do a holding job in midfield. Paul Scholes has not travelled due to concerns about a knee problem.

Xabi Alonso was the main concern for the home side having missed Spain’s recent friendly and the win over Sevilla. He is still nursing a groin complaint but took part in training and is likely to start. Mourinho’s dilemma is who to leave out, with Pepe and Raphael Varane vying for a centre-back berth, Luka Modric and Angel Di Maria jostling for a midfield start and Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain eyeing a place in attack.

Real Madrid vs Manchester United: Key point for United and Sir Alex Ferguson

It’s likely to be Cristiano Ronaldo versus however many men Ferguson chooses to deploy against his former charge. Fronting that battle is likely to be Rafael. The Brazilian youngster looked suspect defensively earlier in his United career, but he has flourished of late. He has pace to burn and kept Gareth Bale relatively quiet in a recent meeting with Tottenham. Ronaldo is a step, or more likely two, up in class but should Rafael keep him shackled, do not be surprised to see Ronaldo go roaming for someone else to ‘bully’.

Real Madrid vs Manchester United:Probable Lineups

 Real Madrid:Lopez, Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao ,Khedira, Alonso, Benzema, Ozil, Ronaldo, Higuain


 Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley, Valencia, Rooney, Giggs, Van Persie


Referee:Felix Brych ( Germany )

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