Man Utd – Real Madrid 05.03.2013
Sir Alex Ferguson has some worries in front of this crucial match.
Phil Jones is doubtful with an ankle injury, while Jonny Evans will most probably play in the center of the defense together with Rio Ferdinand. The Serbian international Nemanja Vidic will miss the game.
His counterpart Jose Mourinho has some ‘sweet problems’ as first-choice goalkeeper Iker Casillas has recovered. He was out since January 23, but it remains to be seen if Casillas will start the game or Lopez will continue to deputize him. Marcelo is also back in contention, so Mourinho has to decide between him and Fabio Coentrao for a place at left-back.
Manchester United have a perfect season. They are on the top of the Premier League with a massive 12 points advantage to the second placed Manchester City. Anyway, the Red Devills are very close to secure the title. United also have a good result from Santiago Bernabeu as the first game finished with 1:1 draw. They are also in excellent form, winning the last seven Premiership games.
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On contrary, this is a bad season for Real Madrid. They are massive 13 points behind the leader Barcelona in Primera. Mourinho is under enormous pressure, as well as the players. According to some sources close to the club, this is the last season for Mourinho. The only thing that could change that is Champions League trophy. Mourinho is well aware of the situation and I believe he will push the players to the limit. This is ‘to be or not to be’ for him. There are some positive signs for Real, they managed to beat Barcelona twice last week. First, Real won 3:1 at Nou Camp in Copa del Rey and secure the cup final, and then, won 2:1 at Bernabeu in Primera.
I expect an efficient match at Old Trafford. The two previous Champions League encounters between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford have produced 12 goals. That means an average of six goals per game.
Real Madrid must play open here. They need to win, or at least some high scoring draw like 2:2 or 3:3 to qualify for the quarter-final. If some coach can beat Manchester United at home, it’s definitely Jose Mourinho. Alex Ferguson is inferior to Jose Mourinho, he has only won twice in his 15 competitive encounters with Portuguese coach.
Considering the previously mentioned reasons, I expect at least three goals at Old Trafford.