Date: 13th February 2013 at 12:45am
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Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney celebrate as they linked up to give United the win over Cluj

Forget about the fact that Cristiano will be playing against his beloved Manchester United for the first time since leaving Old Trafford, or Wayne Rooney will be going up against the man he called an idiot on Twitter, the Red Devils’ game against the Madrid giants is a must watch.

The buildup to the game has captured the attention of football lovers across the globe, with the World’s second Best Player – Cristiano Ronaldo’s, mesmerizing abilities virtually rendering Manchester United ineffective against ’s side.

League positions might not play a part in this fixture with favoured to progress, but take nothing from the Old Trafford outfit who will probably be full of confidence after opening a 12 point gap against Premier League champions .

Here’s my starting eleven for the game:

DAVID DE GEA
The Spanish stopper returns home for the first time since arriving at United. With two clean sheets in his last two games, let’s hope the 21-year- old’s performance can silence his critics.

DA SILVA
The Brazilian has undoubtedly been one of United’s most consistent performers this season. His surges forward and overlapping runs help in attack, and his defending is magnificent. It will be a shock not to see him tomorrow.

NEMANJA VIDIC.
With his organization and the control he has over the game, Manchester United are more comfortable whenever the Serbian is in the centre of defence. United will need his leadership more than usual against a dangerous Real Madrid.


Not playing a part in Sunday’s game against Everton said it all – Sir Alex would love more experience in his squad against Ronaldo and co. Ferdinand might have lost a yard of pace but his reading of the game is sure to add a thing or two to his side’s chances of a victory.


The French international has been involved in more goals this season than he had in his entire United career. A goal or an assist from him will be very much appreciated.


Not the kind of form most United fans would have wished him to be in at present, but the number 7’s work rate could surely go a long way.

MICHAEL CARRICK
United’s best midfielder this season. Not quite the enthusiastic runner as the young Tom Cleverly but some of his ballistic passes are simply phenomenal.

PHIL
Man marking Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be as easy as Everton’s Fellani but with the discipline he showed in executing his task on Sunday, he is definitely the right man for the job.

LUIS
This is the perfect time for the Portuguese international to erupt from the shadows of his fellow countryman. His skills and ability are more than enough to give the Madrid defenders one hell of a night.

WAYNE ROONEY
His work ethic all over the pitch is outstanding as shown against Everton. He scores goals too.

ROBIN VAN PERSIE
He scores when he wants! Mourinho has acknowledged the threat he poses and he can definitely get goals both home and away.

Disagree with my lineup? What is your starting XI for the game against Real Madrid?