Manchester United versus Real Madrid. Fergie versus The Special One. Oh, and that Ronaldo fellow. This game has all the potential for being a thrilling night at the Theater of Dreams. Ryan Giggs, who will be playing his 1,000th senior level game, did the opposite of downplaying this tie to United supporters. Jose Mourinho rested seven key players against Barcelona so that they would be fit for the game in Manchester. His side that was rested had handily beat Barcelona 3-1 at Camp Nou. The only notable United omission will be Phil Jones as he does well to shield the United back-line.
This game should be a thrilling end-to-end encounter and it is CR7's triumphant return to Old Trafford. I foresee an ovation from the Stretford End no matter the scoreline. He is in blistering form and Real is riding high off of two consecutive El Clasico victories. While Real Madrid is floundering in third in La Liga, United is still sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League with no legitimate challenger in sight. United did have a confident 4-0 win against Norwich on Saturday so both teams should be firing on all cylinders.
It will be interesting to see if Fergie chooses to play more defensive wingers against Madrid's Di Maria and Ronaldo. However, if Fergie decides to go with a more attacking line-up, get your popcorn ready. Both of these teams are simply too good and their managers too passionate to let this tie become a snoozefest. If you're not into soccer or don't watch it much, watch this game. This game, even though it's the round of 16, may be one of the most thrilling matches to watch in this year's Champions League.
Final score: Real Madrid 3 Manchester United 2 (R. Madrid 4-3 agg.)