FOOTBALL NEWS

12/02/2013 15:42, Report by Adam Marshall
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Match preview: Real v United

Ins and outs: Paul Scholes did not travel due to a knee problem but, otherwise, the Premier League leaders are at full strength. Phil Jones and Jonny Evans look to have shrugged off knocks in order to make the trip while Ashley Young and Anders Lindegaard are also included. Real expect to have Xabi Alonso and Pepe available but Rafael Varane looks set to join keeper Iker Casillas on the sidelines. Diego Lopez will start in goal.

Opposition boss: Jose Mourinho needs no introduction to United fans. A man whose celebration on his first visit to Old Trafford as a coach with Porto, after a late goal knocked the Reds out of Europe, and who went head-to-head with Sir Alex at Chelsea, enjoying two league victories and the FA Cup in 2007, would usually be treated with a degree of antipathy. However, such is the Portuguese tactician's charisma, that there is probably a healthy respect towards 'The Special One' rather than animosity.

Star man: Cristiano Ronaldo joined United as a raw teenager and left as one of the best players on the planet. The Portugal international is still revered by the Red Army and is guaranteed a special reception when he returns to Old Trafford for the first time in the second leg. Clearly the major threat in a team full of stars, the powerful forward will be out to dump his former club out of the competition.

Quote/unquote: "It’s a match the world is waiting for. They are not waiting for other matches in the Champions League. So I hope we can give the world of football what they’re waiting for." - Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid coach.

Sub-plots: Sir Alex and Mourinho have had many clashes over the years and this will be another opportunity for the duo

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