Cristiano Ronaldo is set to return to Old Trafford tonight as his Real Madrid take on Manchester United. The return leg of the Champions League first knock-out phase is one of the most anticipated one in years. Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho said "the whole world will stop to watch this one".
Team News Manchester United:
United defender Phil Jones has been ruled out for tonight's match, although Sir Alex Ferguson believes anything can happen. David De Gea, who had one of his best games in a Man United uniform in the first leg, is set to start at goal. Johny Evans will compete for a starting place in central defense with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Right-back Rafael will be the one responsible for Cristiano Ronaldo on defense. Ryan Giggs is set to make his 1000th appearance for the Red Devils. Shinji Kagawa could also start tonight after his stunning hat trick in the Premier League at the weekend. Anderson, Cleverley, Young, Valencia and Nani are all available in midfield. In the attack it looks like Robin Van Persie will start along with Wayne Rooney. Danny Welbeck might possible sneak in too while Mexican super sub Javier Hernandez will have to wait for his chance on the bench.
Team News Real Madrid:
Despite numerous reports indicating he is recovering well from his injury, Goalkeeper Iker Casillas will not play at Old Trafford tonight despite being named into the squad. Xabi Alonso could return to the line-up, despite his long term groin problem. Sergio Ramo and Raphael Varane are set to form the central defense. German duo Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil are expected to feature in the midfield, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. Jose Mourinho might shuffle between Higuain and Benzema in the attack.
Real Madrid have only won once in their last five away games in England in the Champions League (two draws, two defeats), against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in April 2011.
United have only lost once in their last 14 Champions League home games (nine wins, four draws), the last one against CFR Cluj during the group stage this season.