Arsene Wenger is unsure about who will prevail in the Champions League last 16 tie between Manchester United and Real Madrid but thinks Cristiano Ronaldo will have trouble keeping cool.
The Arsenal boss also believes the game is worthy of the final in Wembley and is sure Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson has a trick or two up his sleeve to defeat his old adversary Jose Mourinho.
Ferguson takes his men to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night, which will be the first time Ronaldo has faced his former paymasters since the move to los Blancos in 2009 for an world record £80million.
Wenger feels the home tie in front of the Real Madrid fans should not be too difficult to deal with but is intrigued as to how the Portugal captain deals with his first return to Old Trafford.
“Ronaldo is a great player and can make the difference,” the Gunners chief told reporters.
“But he is up against his former club — and that will put him in the eye of a hurricane – we’ll have to see how he faces up to the return leg.
“But Madrid against United is as though the final has been brought forward. It is filled with quality.”
Many feel Mourinho could have the upper hand because their failure in La Liga so far this season makes them able to only concentrate solely on the Champions League.
Wenger acknowledged this could play a part in which side goes through to the next round but insisted his opposite number at Manchester United will have been protecting his stars and will spring a surprise or two.
“You could say that Real Madrid have an advantage in that they are not competing for the La Liga title and so they can concentrate on the Champions League,” added the Frenchman.
“But on the other hand it is logical to assume that United have been resting players, and keeping their best tricks up their sleeves for this tie.”