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UEFA Champions League preview: Manchester United v Real Madrid

4 March 2013 10:32

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says his side will not be intimidated by Real Madrid heading into Tuesday's Champions League tie.

Real Madrid travel to Old Trafford for the second leg of the round-of-16 clash in form, having beaten Barcelona in consecutive Clasicos over the last week.

Jose Mourinho's side were in rare form as they defeated Barca 3-1 in last Tuesday's Copa del Rey encounter, while Madrid repeated the dose in a 2-1 victory over their bitter rival in La Liga action last Saturday.

The two results came despite a disappointing La Liga campaign for Madrid and Ferguson believes Mourinho's team may have peaked just a fraction too early heading into the second leg of a tie that is evenly poised after a 1-1 first-up result at the Bernabeau.

"I don't think they'll reach that height this Tuesday," Ferguson said.

"I think it was a one-off performance. They were brilliant."

He added: "On Tuesday their counter-attacking was terrific.

"We're aware of that and our preparation has to include that, but I think we'll score, I really do.

"They'll still play well and we'll have to make sure we play well, but the other night they really hit the heights."

Despite having a laser pointed at his face during the match at the Nou Camp, Cristiano Ronaldo still dominated the encounter to score two goals.

Tuesday's clash represents the first time Ronaldo has returned to Manchester since leaving the club in 2009.

And Ferguson is well aware his former midfielder can turn a match in seconds after seeing him score in the first leg despite being well held by Phil Jones for the majority of the game.

When asked how he intends to stop Ronaldo this time around, Ferguson joked: ''I've got a plan, it's called a machete. Plan B is the machine gun!"

Ferguson sprang several selection surprises ahead of last weekend's clash with Norwich, using key striker Robin van Persie despite the Dutchman hurting his hip a week earlier when he fell into a photographer's dug-out.

But van Persie successfully played out his time during the 4-1 win over Norwich and appears a certain starter on Tuesday evening as veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs also returns to Ferguson's team for his 1000th appearance for the Red Devils.

United striker Shinji Kagawa will also take some confidence into the encounter after scoring his first hat-trick in United colours against Norwich, while Wayne Rooney also stepped up to score a blinder from 25 yards, lending credence to Ferguson's belief that his side can score against Real Madrid.

Along with Ronaldo, Real Madrid have several other attacking weapons as Karim Benzema found the back of the net against Barcelona early in last Saturday's win over Barcelona and the team also includes Mesut Oezil, Luka Modric, Kaka and Michael Essien.

And Ronaldo should also be well rested for Tuesday's game, having played for just over 40 minutes on the weekend as he entered the fray as a second-half substitute.

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Info

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
5 March 2013
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
1 - 2
On aggregate
2 - 3
Venue
Old Trafford (Manchester)
Attendance
74959

Goals

Sergio Ramos (OG) 48'  
1 - 0
1 - 1
66' L. Modrić
 (assist by Sergio Ramos)
1 - 2
69' Cristiano Ronaldo
 (assist by G. Higuaín)

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
10
18
7
6
13
14
26
# Player Bookings
8 73'
19 66'
3 88'
9
13
18
21

Saturday 20 December

20:14
20:13
20:10
19:58
19:51
19:49
19:46
19:39
19:36
19:22
19:21
19:16
18:54
18:53
18:10
18:06
17:59
17:59
17:56
17:54
17:53
17:29
17:25
16:52
16:43
16:04
15:56
15:51
15:48
15:39
14:09
13:26
12:03
11:59
10:31
06:56
05:40
05:10
03:44
01:58
01:32

Friday 19 December

23:57
23:54
23:52
23:20
23:14
22:53
22:52
22:31
22:25
21:22
21:09
20:51
20:33
19:20
19:01
18:58
18:47
18:20
17:43
17:41
17:26
16:58
16:53
16:52
16:48
16:02
15:29
15:26
15:01
14:42
14:14
13:55
13:55
13:20
13:11
12:30
12:26
12:14
11:22
11:13
11:10
10:24
10:22
10:16
09:40
09:20
07:07
05:53
05:31
04:54
04:50
04:02
02:14
01:31
00:55

Thursday 18 December

23:24
23:18
23:11
22:44
22:01
21:34
20:56
19:34
19:32
19:28
19:13
18:24
18:06
17:51
17:24
17:13
17:01
16:55
16:47
16:27
16:23
16:14
16:10
15:55
14:36
14:12
13:43
13:24
13:07
12:45
12:41
12:28
12:26
12:01
11:35
11:12
11:03
10:49
10:48
10:34
09:55
09:46
09:27
05:48
05:16
04:47
04:28
04:18
04:05
04:01
03:43
02:38
01:17
00:44
00:21
00:11
00:05

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 16 +23 39
2 17 +22 39
3 17 +12 32
4 17 +10 31
5 17 +15 29
6 17 -1 27
7 16 +9 26
8 17 +3 25
9 16 -4 23
10 17 +0 21
11 16 -3 21
12 17 -10 20
13 16 -3 19
14 17 -6 17
15 17 -12 17
16 16 -10 16
17 17 -8 15
18 17 -14 15
19 17 -9 13
20 17 -14 10

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