Manchester United and Real Madrid, unquestionably the two biggest names in world club football, go head to head in a sudden death encounter at Old Trafford. The tie delicately poised at one goal a piece with United holding the advantage of an all important away goal.
Both teams however are known for their ruthless counter attacking skills face off at the Theatre of Dreams. Here is some pre-match info before Tuesday night's clash...
United are on a roll in the Premier League being undefeated since November 17 and and face Real Madrid off the back of a classy 4-0 dismissal of Norwich on Saturday.
Real Madrid's season in the La Liga has been rather unspectacular; however the Galacticos are bound to be brimming with assurance after dispatching Barcelona in consecutive games in the Copa Del Ray and La Liga.
In 94 Champions League games, United have racked up an impressive 63 wins at Old Trafford. United have progressed each time they have drawn 1-1 away from home in the first leg of a tie. Recent history also suggests that United have fared better with their second leg at home, with the only exception to this being in 2010 when they lost to Bayern on away goals at Old Trafford.
Real Madrid's credential as one of the best attacking units has been proved time and again and they have been ominous away from home in the Mourinho era. Real have managed to score at least one goal in all their away ties since September 2010.
United have played Madrid four times, twice in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively. The Galacticos hold the upper hand having knocked the Reds out of the competition three times. The only time that United defeated the Madridistas was in 1968 in the semi-final stage and they went on to win the European Cup.
Head-to-head at Old Trafford since 2000
The last two encounters at Old Trafford have not been in United's favour. They hosted Madrid in 2000 after securing a goalless draw in the first leg, and went down 3-2 at home courtesy of a Roy Keane own goal and a Raul brace.
Last time the two teams met in 2003, the Brazilian Ronaldo broke United hearts scoring a hat trick, despite a second half rally to win 4-3, they were knocked out 5-6 on aggregate.
Sir Alex Ferguson, the wily Scot, has been a one club man since he moved from Aberdeen long ago promising to knock Liverpool of their perch. In his 26 years as the Reds boss he has won infinite laurels and has lead United to two Champions League victories.
Jose Mourinho, the self appointed 'Special One', has never been one to stay for too long, constantly moving from one club to the next but not before scripting his success story. His credentials really speak volumes, being just the third manager to have won the Champions League twice with different clubs.
They have come up against each other in all competitions 14 times, with Mourinho holding a 6-3 upper hand over Sir Alex. Both managers would be hoping to equal Bob Paisley's record of three European championships this season.
United's marathon man Ryan Giggs is set to make his 1000th professional appearance, and has signed another one-year contract. There seems to be no stopping this maestro, and records simply keep tumbling at his feet. He received a standing ovation at Madrid, testament to his contribution to the beautiful game. He would certainly be hoping to make a major contribution on his night to remember.
Robin Van Persie, the Flying Dutchman has proved that he is worth every penny of the £ 24 million spent on him. Van has certainly been the man for United this season scoring as many as 23 goals in all competitions. He has however seen a goal drought of sorts having gone goalless in four games, partly due to the knock he took against QPR. A goal is due from him, and one at this big stage would further stamp his authority as the best poacher in the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo, love him or hate him, sad or happy, he is the consummate professional on the field. He has scored a phenomenal 185 goals in 184 appearances for Madrid, including a sublime header in the previous encounter at Bernabeu. He has been in prolific form all season, and United will be wary of his dazzling skills. He will be hoping to score on his return to Old Trafford.
The stats on paper indicate that both teams are evenly poised, however they hardly matter once the whistle is blown at kick off. No matter who wins this game, football fans from all over the world will certainly be tuning in to see as Mourinho put it 'the game the world wants to see'.
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